The new Director and a journey unfolding

Posted on November 1, 2017

Sometimes I’m glad to live now. Like when I heard that Rachel Piercy had been elevated to the role of Director, an appointment that finally makes our whole team of angels (Jane Hosking, Ali Haigh, Julie Slavin) official.

Rachel was wearing sparkly green antennae when I first met her.

‘Well, if you can’t wear them around friends,’ she said, antennae jiggling, ‘where can you?’

I get the feeling Rachel is usually surrounded by friends. She’s exceptional with people. She manages an extensive network of artists and arts professionals, Friends, volunteers and gallery-goers. She’s been everything from a front desk volunteer to an art educator. Recently, I met an amazed woman at a sketch group, who told me that when Rachel saw her peering in the gallery window after hours, she opened the door and let her in.

Perhaps Rachel is especially generous with others because she knows what it’s like to feel disconnected. Rachel is a member of the stolen generation. Her great grandmother was taken from country and adopted out in Dubbo. It wasn’t until Rachel turned 16 that she and her father began to uncover their Aboriginal history and reconnect with family. Not long after that Rachel, who had always made art, began to weave, using materials gathered from the land with her dad Graham, bringing her environmental science expertise together with a deep connection to country. Rachel is a Murrawarri woman. Her ancestors are from out west near Brewarrina, in the townships of Weilmoringle and Goodooga.

‘As a family we’re accepted locally and at home, even though we’re part of the stolen generation,’ she says.

It’s an amazing journey and one that’s still unfolding.

‘We’re learning all the time.’