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pakana Artists

Kickstart Arts is holding space for First Nations artists and community members to operate self-determined arts and cultural activities at the pakana studio.
Cheryl writing on pakana studio sign


The pakana Studio was named by elders Cheryl and Colleen Mundy, pictured with Jim Everett.

Cheryl Colleen Jim
Weaving image pakana studio

Weaving & Warbling Workshops.


Led by fibre artist Colleen Mundy and Cheryl Mundy, these workshops are a chance for both First Nations and the general community to gather and create fibre based artworks and share stories.

Rosie weaving in pakana studio

The Walkout Step.


During 2019 & 2020, singer, songwriter and elder Cheryl Mundy has been supported by Kickstart Arts to create her first major visual art artwork called The Walkout Step.  She is being mentored in creative process and use of materials by renowned sculptor and installation artist Marcus Tatton in a s respectful collaboration. 

This in-ground installation in the entrance to the former boys orphanage is a response to the reality that stolen pakana (Tasmanian Aboriginal) children were incarcerated there during the nineteenth century. The artwork is, to use Cheryl’s words, “a dream from my heart and spirit to free the children out into their lands rich with natural signs to direct them home.” 

Cheryl is deeply connected to the St John’s Park site and to the former orphanages. She is descended from Fanny Cochrane Smith, who was held prisoner in the girls orphanage and her relative Adam was taken from Wyabalenna on Flinders Island and held in the boys. She also worked at St John’s Park as a mental health worker for many years.

Cheryl cutting steel

The Evidence

Kickstart Arts is holding space in the colonial site at St Johns Park for self determined arts and cultural practice by Tasmanian Aboriginal people.


Many Aboriginal children were imprisoned in these buildings in the 1830s onwards, and many Aboriginal community members still visit the health services on site.


Working with Indigenous Australians First Nations People (AUS)

Website: Practice implications - Self Determination

Australian Dictionary of Biography (AUS)

Website: Fanny Cochrane Smith 1834-1905

Indigenous Australia, Australian National University (AUS)

Website: Biography - Mathinna (c. 1835–?)

Network Weaving

A few examples of local programs that might suit you.

Nayri Niara Good Spirit Festival is a biennual gathering of music, ceremony, knowledge sharing and arts, held in a stunning cultural landscape that is lunawunna alonnah, Bruny Island, Tasmania. 

Website: Nayri Niara Good Spirit Festival

Karadi Aboriginal Corporation is an inclusive Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, providing leadership in the sector and serving Aboriginal people of our catchment and their families in achieving strong cultural identity, good health and quality of life.

Website: Karadi Aboriginal Corporation

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) is an Aboriginal community organisation developed in the early 1970s, funded by the federal government since 1973.

Website: TAC

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