8 July 2023

A natural fit: CWA exhibition aimed at reviving Griffith children's environmental passion

| Oliver Jacques
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Grandmother and grandkids sitting outside under tree with artwork

Sheila Brady with grandkids Alec and Tatum and their artwork. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

The Griffith Country Women’s Association (CWA) is hosting an exhibition in mid-July showcasing children’s artwork made from rocks, feathers, nuts, cones, leaves, shells and other items from nature.

CWA secretary Sheila Brady, a former Griffith Citizen of the Year, wanted to do something that would educate kids on the importance of environmental preservation and getting in touch with nature.

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In the lead-up to World Environment Day on 5 June, she approached Tharbogang and Yoogali primary schools and encouraged the students to get outside and make art from whatever natural substances they could find.

“A lot of children never get outside the house these days,” Ms Brady said.

“They’ve forgotten what nature is, they don’t go out fishing and hiking as much as they did in our day. Let’s get them back out there and have a look.

”It’s hard to get them to know about drought and coal seam gas, but as a start, I wanted to get them to look around and think about what they can do to preserve the environment. They’ve made some amazing creations from things like abandoned bird nests, tree stumps and feathers.”

The children’s art, collages and nature trays will be on display at the CWA Hall in an exhibition open to the public for a nominal fee that will include afternoon tea.

“We’ll get them thinking about what’s happening in the world and we’ll be there to answer their questions,” Ms Brady said.

“We want this to be a fun project for the children so there will be no judging … all the children will receive a certificate of participation congratulating them on being an environmental warrior.”

Two of Ms Brady’s grandchildren, Alec and Tatum, are working on projects for the upcoming CWA exhibition. We found out a bit more about their passion for the environment and their broader ambitions.

two kids sitting at table with their art

Alec and Tatum Brady with their art. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Warrior 1

Name: Alec Brady

Age: 11

Environmental cause you care about: Climate change. Some birds fly to warmer places when it gets colder. If the climate changes too quickly, they won’t have enough time to fly over. Also, if droughts get worse, we won’t be able to farm and we’ll have no crops. Then we won’t have any food.

Favourite subject: Maths.

Outdoor activities: AFL, basketball and cricket. Golf with Grandpa.

Biggest achievement so far: Making the state titles in swimming.

Idols: Buddy Franklin, Kobe Bryant and Alex Blackwell (a Yenda-born cricket star and relative).

Future career: Electrician.

Life dream: Being drafted for the NBA (American basketball competition).

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Warrior 2

Name: Tatum Brady

Age: 8

Environmental cause you care about: Reducing plastic use. If we throw out plastics, they can get in the sea and animals can die.

Favourite subject: Maths.

Outdoor activities: Gymnastics, swimming, netball and basketball.

Biggest achievement so far: Competing in Little Athletics. I came first in every race.

Idols: Kobe Bryant.

Future career: Artist.

Life dream: Winning the Archibald.

You can see artwork from Alec, Tatum and many other children at the CWA Hall, 129 Banna Avenue, between 10 am and 3 pm on Friday and Saturday, 14 and 15 July.

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