10 Nov 2014

Art to help indigenous healing in Vanuatu

8:12 pm on 10 November 2014

An Australian indigenous artist has drawn comparisons between ni-Vanuatu and indigenous Australian art in a bid to help the healing process of both countries' first peoples.

Richard McLean, from Cape York in Northern Queensland, says art is a powerful form of expression which can make people celebrate with joy or shed tears in sorrow.

The artist is taking part in a new public diplomacy initiative in Vanuatu, by sharing indigenous art with schools and communities.

He says there are historical connections between his Aboriginal ancestors and ni-Vanuatu ancestors who worked in the sugarcane fields of Queensland between 1860 until the labour trade ended in 1903.

Mr McLean says such sharing could be a means to healing ancient atrocities inflicted on the indigenous peoples of Australia and Vanuatu.