Region's Indigenous artists display artwork for NAIDOC week

History: Wiradjuri artist Sharon Smith beside her artwork that was chosen to be displayed by the Newell highway. Photo: Joshua Green.

History: Wiradjuri artist Sharon Smith beside her artwork that was chosen to be displayed by the Newell highway. Photo: Joshua Green.

Three Aboriginal artists will have their artwork displayed across the Central West as part of a NAIDOC partnership between local Land Councils and NRMA.

The artists, with ties to the Wonnarua, Dharawal and Wiradjuri communities, will each have their own artwork displayed on billboards adorning highways in the areas home to those peoples.

Sharon Smith, a Wiradjuri woman who resides in Cowra, will have her artwork featured on a billboard south of Dubbo, near Peak Hill.

Mrs Smith designed her artwork base don her own personal history and lineage.

"My art piece symbolises the river where my father was born," Mrs Smith said.

"Reflecting on my own connection to land and country, my artwork is based on my childhood memories of visiting the three rivers of Wiradjuri country and hearing the colourful stories being passed down from my elders."

"I believe the artwork I've created gives my ancestors and me a stronger voice and a unique way to connect with other members of the community."

Three Rivers: Sharon Smith's artwork, located on a billboard near Peak Hill, south of Dubbo. Photo: Joshua Green.

Three Rivers: Sharon Smith's artwork, located on a billboard near Peak Hill, south of Dubbo. Photo: Joshua Green.

With family from Canowindra, Forbes and Condobolin as well as her own ties to the region, getting the chance to display her own artwork as some people's first exposure to Wiradjuri culture was a dream come true.

"I would put it at the top of the list of my achievements, it's out there for all my mob to see, and my name will be known a little bit more," Mrs Smith said.

"I was a finalist in the 2014 Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize, and I thought that was something special, but this one's the top of my list."

"It's unreal, I couldn't say how pleased and happy I was to be chosen to have my artwork."

Mrs Smith said that such projects during NAIDOC week could be used as gateways to greater education about Indigenous culture.

"[NAIDOC is] very important, it gives me a voice, to be able to put my voice out there and tell my story in my work, it also educates a lot of people who don't know much about Indigenous culture."

Along with Mrs Smith's billboard on the Newell highway, the partnership will also involve billboards near Heathcote and Whittingham.