Thursday, March 28, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Community invited to explore waterways through art

Storytelling, poetry, drawing, painting, photography, film and more…the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership invites local creatives of all ages and abilities to take part in the Submerged in Our Region competition to celebrate 10 years of waterway health in our region.  
Entrants will get the chance to have their work showcased at a five-day exhibition in July as part of the 2024 Mackay Festival of Arts program and be eligible to win one of five prizes - including a $1,000 Artist Development Bursary.
The competition encourages the community to connect with their local waterways, and capture their surroundings in various mediums.
Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership Executive Officer, Jaime Newborn, said reaching 10 years was a great achievement and the Partnership wanted to celebrate the milestone with the community.
“The community is a major driver behind the Partnership and why we produce a Waterway Health Report Card each year. Bringing together waterway data is about providing the local community with a regionally specific condition report, and using that to inform how waterways are managed,” she said.
“An art exhibition focused on waterways is a great way to spark conversations about the health of our rivers, creeks and oceans and the vital life and industries they support.
“In the scientific community, we are used to looking at our environment through an evidence-based lens, but art is also an effective way of communicating what’s important to us.
Submerged in our Region will exhibit at CQUniversity’s Gallery-31, from July 25th to 30th, with artwork by Gallery-31 Curator Glenda Hobdell and collaborators featuring as the show’s centrepiece.
One of Glenda’s previous joint exhibitions, Anthropocene, was featured at the Great Barrier Reef Festival in 2022, to get people thinking about the Reef and the need to protect it for future generations.
“I have very fond memories of diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and to see how it’s changing due to impacts of climate change is devastating. This significant issue was the driving force behind Anthropocene, an immersive installation that involved collaborating with other like-minded artists,” Ms Hobdell said. 
“Art is about reflecting what is going on in the world socially, and environmentally. It’s essential that we continue to create art and in doing so, make these statements to raise awareness.

“Waterways, and water in general, provide a significant concept to explore artistically because of its importance to our country and to the world. We don’t live without water. It’s our lifeblood.”

Mrs Newborn said the exhibition could not occur without the support of the local community and Partners.
“We are very grateful to the many Partners we have in diverse sectors, all working together with a focus on waterway health in our region.
“Thanks to one of our long-standing Partners, CQUniversity, for allowing us to showcase our exhibition in their state-of-the art gallery, and to Red Cat Adventures and Artspace Mackay who have kindly donated two of the prizes.”
Entries for the Submerged in our Region exhibition close on Friday 7th June 2024. For more information about the competition visit
Media contact:
Jaime Newborn
Executive Officer
P: 0437 868 361
Photo: see below & attached

CQUniversity Gallery-31 Curator Glenda Hobdell and Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership Executive Officer Jaime Newborn.

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