“That first painting is full of the monkeys on your back” @ The Girrawaa

8 September, 2016

New Skills, New Futures through the Girrawaa Creative Work Centre, Bathurst

Participants work each weekday @ The Girrawaa, Bathurst. Image: OurMob

Broadening skills, crafting horizons and building new futures are three of the goals of the Girrawaa Creative Work Centre, at the Bathurst Correctional Centre.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inmates are supported by the Department of Justice, Elders, teachers and the Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council to learn how to create and sell their artwork and build careers as successful artists.

The partnership with Bathurst LALC has been running since Girrawaa began 18 years ago.

Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council. Image: OurMob

Girrawaa is a Wiradjuri word meaning “goanna” and the building itself is shaped like a goanna resting on the hill.

OurMob visited The Girrawaa recently to speak with the participants about the Centre’s impact.

OurMob has received publication permission from the Department of Corrective Services and each of the men who agreed to appear in this special feature and photographs.

Jeremy’s first painting is on left, the second just two weeks later, on right. Image: OurMob
Intricate work at The Girrawaa, Bathurst. Image: OurMob


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.