18 October 2022- The team from the Australian Embassy visited Ngeremlengui Elementary School on Monday 17 October, bringing with them the Evolution: Torres Strait Masks exhibition.  This exhibition, which explores the longstanding importance of masks in Torres Strait culture, was previously on display at the Belau National Museum.

This visit came about because of the artistic efforts of the grade 6 children from the school.  These students, along with all other classes who visited the exhibition while on display in Koror, decorated masks as part of the exhibition activities.  Each visiting class had a photo taken in their masks, and these were displayed in the exhibition. While the creative talents of all classes were excellent, the class from Ngeremlengui Elementary School was chosen as the winning class.

Australian Ambassador Richelle Turner and her team were pleased to share the exhibition with the entire school and community; and ran tours for students and community members through the striking masks banners which celebrate the rich and continuing tradition in the Torres Strait Islands.  After their tour, students sat down and decorated their own masks– creating some amazing masks of their own and drawing inspiration from the craftsmanship from the Torres Strait.  

A short award ceremony was also held, where the students whose artistic creativity won their school this opportunity were awarded with Australian Office “showbags”, including jars of delicious Australian honey.  The Australian Embassy also donated some additional art supplies to the school, which will continue to foster the creativity of the children.

It was a special day of culture and art for everyone involved, and a pleasure for the Embassy to visit Ngeremlengui and an honour to have Governor Mary Francesca Remengesau and Delegate Sweny Ongidobel visit the exhibition.  The Australian Embassy is confident that long after the banners have been rolled away, that students from Ngeremlengui elementary school will remember the similarities between Palau and Torres Strait art and culture, and that Palau and Australia are part of the same Pacific family.

For more information, please contact the Australian Embassy, Palau at 488-4628 or koror.embassy@dfat.gov.au. Follow us on Facebook  www.facebook.com/AusEmbPalau/  for more details on Australia’s activities in Palau. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *