Kuranda local, Jackie Faulkner, was inspired by Djabugay elders Aunty Rhonda and Aunty Coralie when she participated in the TRACQS Community Development Program Activity ‘ Keeping Our Culture Alive’ (KOCA).

Living in Kuranda, Jackie has always felt inspired and captivated by Indigenous art’s beauty and its ability to tell a story. Joining KOCA, Jackie started by learning traditional Indigenous weaving, as she developed a deeper understanding of the traditional owners and spiritual custodians of ‘country’.

Working closely with Jackie were TRACQS Activity Supervisors, who encouraged Jackie to explore her creativity to widen her employment options. So, Jackie pulled out some colours, picked up a paintbrush and began painting the kookaburra that visited her balcony.

Recognising that she lives on sacred country, Jackie has always felt the significance and power that North Queensland holds, with KOCA further developing her love for Kuranda.

“Being with the amazing women at KOCA really boosted my confidence. I am not indigenous, and KOCA really made me feel welcome, and I’ve learnt heaps,” said Jackie on her experience at KOCA.

For Jackie, her paintings are how she experiences admiration for the land. Wanting to share the love she has for Kuranda; she hopes that her artwork can help others to understand the significance the land holds for the community.

“I really want to show the beauty of ‘country’ that we all need to look after.”

Thanks to the ongoing support and encouragement from TRACQS, Jackie is now expanding her career opportunities as she’s joined our Small Business Activity, where she’ll receive guidance and assistance towards self-employment.

Further developing her skills and education, TRACQS has helped Jackie successfully enrol in a Diploma of Visual Arts. Already selling a painting at her TAFE exhibition, Jackie has high hopes and dreams of selling her art at markets and galleries.

Jackie’s painting from her TAFE art exhibition.

Speaking on her progress, Jackie has big aspirations to inspire children to utilise art as a tool for self-care and expression.

“I was so excited when I sold my painting, and I’m really grateful to TRACQS for giving me the opportunity and support to develop skills.”

“I am also using what I am learning to develop a program for children, which combines art and strategies for wellbeing. Hopefully, it could give children some skills that support resilience in these tough times and contribute to community wellbeing.”

We can’t wait to see Jackie reach her employment goals, and we’re looking forward to seeing her art receive the praise and recognition it deserves.