Communication from Down Under

Greetings, Earthlings.

As I indicated in my last post, it has been hard to write. Things seem too bleak, or simply too overwhelming to explain.

At last, I have something to communicate and share with you, that is both simple and hopeful. I have been in Melbourne, Australia for the last two weeks, visiting with friends I haven’t seen in years, and attending the conference of the World Federation of Associations for Teacher Education – WFATE, or World FATE as they like to call it, with good reason.

This conference has been spectacular in many ways, but right now I’m just going to write about one. Today, we went out to the town of Sunshine, in the outskirts of Melbourne. They say it is the most diversified municipality in all Australia. We were there to visit an art gallery.

Gallery owners today often complain that they can’t get young people to come into their galleries and look at the art. The Gallery Sunshine Everywhere puts young people’s art on its walls, so everyone – young and old – can appreciate the work of young artists like Naomi:

Naomi - young artist posing with her painting

Naomi, posing with her work at The Granary Cafe in Sunshine, Australia – part of an exhibit of young artists

Logo of the Gallery Sunshine Everywhere

 

This gallery exists anywhere in the town of Sunshine that cares to exhibitNaomi and her friends take part in an after school programme, organised by their mentor, Carmena Borg. The Gallery Sunshine Everywhere is a project directed by Maureen Ryan, that turns any space in Sunshine into an art gallery if they want it. Working together, they professionally framed the young artists’ work and hung it in the town’s Granary Cafe for all to see.

Naomi and her artistic mentor, Carmen, at exposition of art by Naomi and her friends

Naomi and her artistic mentor, Carmen, at exposition of art by Naomi and her friends

The professional treatment given to these works validates the children’s creativity and helps them see themselves as confident, expressive, creative individuals. The solidarity we witnessed between these children and their parents and neighbours was also quite special. We would like to thank Carmena, Maureen, and especially Naomi and all the other artists taking part in this exhibit for inviting us and treating us with kindness and hospitality.

Closeup of Naomi's picture sharing a frame with another picture by her friend Ruby

Naomi’s work shares a professional frame with one by her friend Ruby.

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About Ray

Ray Gallon is president and co-founder of The Transformation Society (www.transformationsociety.net), a research and consulting company focusing on helping organisations in business, government, and society to live and work with complexity and the digital transformation. He has over 40 years as a communicator, first as an award-winning radio producer and journalist, then in the technical content industries. His management experience includes a stint as program manager of WNYC-FM, New York City’s public radio station. Ray is a self-described "humanist nerd," and has always been interested in the meeting point between technology and culture, and has used his broad experience to advantage with companies such as IBM, General Electric Health Care, Alcatel, 3M, and the OECD, as well as in smaller companies and startup enterprises. Ray recently helped co-found the Information 4.0 Consortium (www.information4zero.org) and serves as its current president. Ray is a university lecturer and a keynote speaker at events throughout the world. He has contributed articles and chapters to many books and periodicals and is the editor of the recently published “Language of Technical Communication” (XML Press).
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