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• Indigenous art from the heart

Sherry Johnstone, a passionate and proud Indigenous artist (centre), with her beautiful artwork donation gift that helped raise money for the Red Shield Appeal. She is with Tracey Williams, Homelessness Case Manager at Warrnambool (left) and Wendy Griffiths, community services student.

Stunning Indigenous artworks created from the heart were one of the highlights of a fund-raising afternoon tea for this year’s Red Shield Appeal.


The homelessness team from Victoria’s Wimmera South West, with the assistance of the two major organisers – Tracey Williams, Homelessness Case Manager at Warrnambool, and Wendy Griffiths, community services student – ran the event with Sherry Johnstone, a passionate and proud Indigenous artist, generously donating a collection of beautiful items valued at $400.


“A lot of my artwork is inspired by all the things I’ve learnt and experienced over time. It all comes from the heart,” Sherry said.


“Sometimes it’s a spiritual or cultural experience, things I am in awe of ... the beauty that surrounds us all the time. I can only try and represent these things visually from a cultural perspective by trying to tell them through how I view the world and everything that it beholds.”


Sherry included a reproduction of two commissioned works in the gift basket for the silent auction, which was part of the afternoon tea held at Warrnambool Corps.


The visual representations were ‘Thunder Point Memories’, capturing a lady’s childhood memories and using that area as a playground, and ‘Moonlit Majesty’, a connection to the southern right whale and the stars.


Sherry said once she focused and put her energy into something, she surprised herself.


“It’s like an intuitive artwork and collaboration with my ancestors at the same time,” she said. “It’s soul-satisfying and frees my spirit.”


Sherry’s beautiful artwork has also been featured in the Australian Football League (AFL). She designed the guernseys for the Geelong Cats team that wore them for the recent Indigenous round.


Lindsay Stow, Manager of Homelessness at Wimmera South West, said the Red Shield Appeal event was a great success, raising more than $800. Local businesses donated items and food for inclusion in the auction, with food also donated from the local Western District Food Share.


“It was great to see all parts of the community come together to show their support for the Red Shield Appeal and the work that we do,” he said.






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