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Hayley Hoolihan - Cultural Arts

Cultural Arts Winner, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, 2011 ACT Training Excellence Awards.

Hayley Hoolihan
Hayley Hoolihan, Graduate Cultural Arts

I am a proud North Queensland Aboriginal. My father is of the Nargun/Gugu Badun people and my mother from the Mittakodia people.

I had a poor view of education and what it could bring. It was not that I did not want to learn, rather the opportunity had never been there for me. Thankfully, I found the CIT Yurauna Centre. And it found me.

Looking back, the Yurauna Centre and I have grown together.

When I came to enrol, the centre had just opened and was offering only one course - Year 10. After completing this course and gaining my Year 10 Certificate, I went on to produce five of my favourite artworks - my children. After having my children I decided to return to CIT Yurauna as a mature aged student. This decision to return to study was the beginning of many decisions to shape my life as an artist, mother and proud Aboriginal woman.

I recently completed my Certificate III in Cultural Arts and have now started a Certificate IV.

CIT Yurauna has allowed me to tell my story through cultural arts. Studying arts at CIT meant my hobby, which I did almost every day, developed into something so much more.

Since studying at CIT Yurauna, I became involved in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Gathering on a local level, and was then voted to represent the Aboriginal women's gathering at a national level.

This position has built my confidence, and allowed me to speak on what is happening in my community.

I feel my greatest leadership role has been with my children. I have shown them a world where there are opportunities, and they understand the value of education.

During 2010 Reconciliation Week I enjoyed working at the Australian National Museum and speaking about cultural art and the stories behind the artwork. From this, I saw how Aboriginal arts can be used in all forms of art medium and my own art works have a holistic meaning about being Aboriginal.

Teaching others about art has recently included presenting at St Clare's College in Narrabundah on fabric design, and then becoming a CIT Yurauna Centre teacher.

Art has allowed me to communicate my story, the story of who I am and where I have came from. I use my art to communicate to a wider audience. You can achieve much with a CIT Yurauna education."