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Winner of the 2001 Award for Business Excellence

[ Terry Cunningham (Tunga) ]
Tunga was born in Taree and has lived in Forster all of his life. He has been with Tobwabba Art since its beginnings as an Aboriginal art and culture course in 1992. Initially Tunga found learning about culture and heritage just as interesting as the art.

He says that most of the old people with traditional knowledge are gone from the Forster Aboriginal community, and Tobwabba means that younger Aboriginal people are learning about culture.

Tunga is colour blind, but he has learnt to recognise colour coordination, and prefers to work in the earthier colours.

Tunga has been involved in teaching Aboriginal art to kids at a local Primary school, and also in training Aboriginal people at Gloucester in art and design. He thinks that training other Aboriginal people is a worthwhile thing for Tobwabba to do more of in the future.

Tunga believes that Tobwabba Art's success has meant greater recognition for the mission from the town. He sees this in various community groups requesting murals and commissioning paintings. Part of Tobwabba's success has been the close group which the artists have maintained, and Tunga thinks this has a lot to do with all of the artists' enjoyment of their work.

Tunga sees his future with Tobwabba, making a living from art and hopefully with Tobwabba expanding overseas.



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