8 December 2014
Whitehaven Coal supports Gunnedah artist
WHITEHAVEN Coal has commissioned a local artist to produce a series of unique images for use by the company. Ronny Long, a Gomeroi man from Gunnedah, has created four pieces of art to be displayed at the company’s offices at Maules Creek and in corporate documents.
The artworks have been completed in ink and feature images that are iconic to Aboriginal people in the local area. Whitehaven will use the images in corporate documents to promote the company’s ongoing commitment to Aboriginal communities.
The artworks feature hand stencils, kangaroo footprints and an emu, which has special significance and tells of the importance to Aboriginal people of being a good father and providing for your family.
Ronny’s special artworks are the latest show of support by Whitehaven for local cultural projects. The company is a long-standing sponsor of the Young Indigenous Writers and Arts Program and other projects including the Narrabri and Country Education Foundations and the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Poetry Competition.
Bob Sutherland, Whitehaven Coal’s Aboriginal Community Relations Officer, explained: “Ronny had previously spoken to us about his passion for art and telling Aboriginal stories through his artwork. I spoke to our CEO Paul Flynn about Ronny’s work and he was very keen for Whitehaven to commission Ronny to produce these fantastic pieces of art.”
The artwork will support Whitehaven’s stated aim to achieve 10% employment at Maules Creek from the local Aboriginal community – reflecting the wider population as a whole.
Bob says: “The Aboriginal employment target of 10% will be achieved in our first intake of new employees at Maules Creek which is an exceptional result and shows we are delivering on our commitment. Ronny’s artwork will be used to promote our commitment to providing long term career opportunities at Maules Creek that can positively change lives in the Aboriginal community.”
Ronny added: “As a local artist from Gunnedah and member of the Gomeroi community, I am very pleased that Whitehaven asked me to produces these pieces of art. The painting of the emu is particularly important to Aboriginal people as its represents being a good father and providing for your family.”