Following the great success of last year’s event, on December 6, the 2012 White Ribbon Art & Poetry Exhibition was launched at the NSW Department of Education and Communities State Office in Sydney. Over 120 school principals, teachers, students and parents gathered in the light-filled Atrium, where the walls were lined with inspiring artwork and moving poetry created by students across the Sydney region. The exhibition, with the theme Breaking the Silence: Not Silent, Not Violent, featured a powerful array of creative works chosen from submissions by students from over 200 schools in the Sydney region.
The Sydney Regional Director of the NSW Department of Education and Communities, Dr Phil Lambert, welcomed the many guests, and spoke of the talent, insight, consideration and compassion evident in the artwork and poetry around him. Dr Lambert explained the importance of the White Ribbon campaign, and the ways the student work on display creatively expressed the commitment to speaking out against violence against women at an early age. Dr Lambert emphasised the strong relationships that have been built between the Sydney Region of the NSW Department of Education and Communities, White Ribbon, and Suzanne Grae. As a White Ribbon Foundation Partner, Suzanne Grae has provided generous ongoing support and sponsorship that has enabled the Breaking the Silence in Schools program to flourish, and events like the Art & Poetry Exhibition to be held.
White Ribbon’s CEO, Libby Davies, echoed Dr Lambert’s appreciation of the striking and provocative works on display, and thanked the students, teachers and parents for their work, creativity and support. Libby noted the vital role of White Ribbon’s Breaking The Silence in Schools Program, in partnership with schools and their communities, to educate and engage young people in the Campaign to end violence against women, and to promote lifelong respectful relationships. Following Libby’s address, poignant poems written by three students from participating schools were read, dealing with themes reflected in the exhibited artworks.
The exhibition is on display in the Atrium at the NSW Department of Education and Communities, Level 2, 35 Bridge Street, Sydney until 31 January 2013.