Yorke Peninsula Council, in partnership with Country Arts SA, has employed Narungga, Ngarrindjeri, Ngadjuri and Wirangu woman Sonya Rankine as an Arts and Cultural Facilitator.
Yorke Peninsula Council is one of five South Australian applicants awarded funding across two years through the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund Recovery Boost, delivered in South Australia by Country Arts SA.
The Arts and Cultural Facilitator will support and strengthen local community connectedness across all ages through social inclusion, cultural development, civic pride, and community identity.
Q&A with Sonya Rankine, Arts & Cultural Facilitator
Tell us about your role?
The Arts and Cultural Facilitator is a newly created role on the YP, and the key features are to:
- Provide advice and support on funding and resources available to regional artists, groups and communities to realise their artistic and cultural ambitions
- Facilitate activity that is responsive to the needs of First Nation Narungga people and community, other local First Nation artists, stakeholder groups, young and diverse people
- Facilitate and create opportunities that build audiences and individual participation in the arts
- Facilitate opportunities to build artistic capacity and capability across the arts sector
- Actively take part in Country Arts SA and Yorke Peninsula Council working groups to accomplish strategic outcomes
- Work collaboratively with Council staff to activate spaces and places
- Work collaboratively with local tourism groups to assist in development and promotion of arts and cultural tourism
How has it been so far?
I’ve enjoyed connecting with the First Nation Narungga community and local artists on the Yorke Peninsula and getting to know what is out there and what the possibilities are for growth and engagement within the community. Working in arts and culture is an energetic and evolving space that is incredibly engaging and rewarding. The interaction so far has been a great indication of what there is to come and what can happen on Yorke Peninsula.
What is your connection to Yorke Peninsula?
I am strongly connected to the Yorke Peninsula, have called it home for the past 22 years and I’m a proud First Nation Narungga, Ngarrindjeri, Ngadjuri and Wirangu woman, mum of three and nana of two grandchildren. For the past 15 years I have worked at the Department for Education specifically in Aboriginal education in a variety of corporate leadership roles and school-based positions in the Yorke and Mid North region. Alongside my full time work I have always been connected to the arts sector as a supporter, singer/songwriter, poet and practising artist as Lakun Mara.
What projects have you been working on?
The past four months I’ve been heavily involved with the Wild Dog project which is a major Country Arts SA project. I have been involved the past 12 months as an artist creating songs in Narungga language. In my role as the Arts and Cultural Facilitator I have assisted on the production side, organising and facilitating the Narungga song and dance workshops at Point Pearce Aboriginal Community. We have just completed an eight-day film shoot on Narungga country to be featured in the exhibition/installation at Tandanya National Cultural Institute opening on 15 July, 2022, as part of Tarnanthi.
The initial months have been connecting with local artists one-on-one, the Southern Yorke Peninsula Arts Development Group, Ballara Retreat, Ardrossan Progress Association, Edithburgh Events Management Group and supporting projects within Council. I’ve been working closely with Letitia Dahl-helm, YP Council Environment Officer, on the Minlagawi Cultural Day to be held on Sunday, 22 May, at Minlaton with Narungga Aboriginal Progress Association (NAPA) and Narungga Nations Aboriginal Corporation (NNAC). Connecting in with Letitia’s work with NNAC on cultural burning on YP led by Firestick Alliances Network is an exciting project reconnecting with traditional First Nation practices of caring for country. There is so much to do, and my focus will be getting to know what’s already on the Yorke Peninsula, what the community wants in the art space, what opportunities we can create to support artists and connecting with First Nation community, local towns via progress associations and other art groups. The ideas are flowing and I’m looking forward to sharing and facilitating collaborative opportunities for our local regional artists and community to engage and prosper through the arts and culture space.
How can you assist people on Yorke Peninsula?
I’m someone they can talk to about an art and/or cultural idea, create connections with other artists, link to grant funding and program opportunities within Country Arts SA. I’m here to facilitate and support any kind of arts and culture project on the Yorke Peninsula.
How can people get in touch with you?
Email me at Sonya.Rankine@countryarts.org.au or call me on 0491 086 854.