Beverly May Hinch, Kamilaroi woman, known as Aunty May, grew up with her grandmother in Moree, Northern NSW where she was born in 1946. She didn’t have much schooling because Aboriginal people were not allowed in town. Aged 14 she was sent to work on local properties.
In 1987 Aunty May Hinch started studying at TAFE and completed a Fine Arts course in 1999. It was here that she got involved in making paper. “It all started by getting bulrush from the river, boiling it in a four gallon drum to make the paper in a baby’s bath tub,” says Hinch. This was the beginning of the Euraba Paper Company of which Beverly May Hinch is a founding member.
In local Kamilaroi language “euraba” means “place of healing”. Today Euraba has seventeen workers plus a Manager and a Production. Artworks and hand made paper and products from Euraba are exhibited and sold in many galleries across Australia.
Aunty May is dedicated to her work at Euraba. “My dream and vision is to see our young people come to work at Euraba so we can be mentors for them to help them build up their self esteem and just feel good about themselves”.
Leonie Binge was born in Goondiwindi in 1966. She has lived in the Toomelah (Aboriginal mission), Boggabilla area (Moree) all her life. When she commenced work at Euraba Paper Works she spent time creating works of art based on the flowing form of the river. “Making artwork makes me feel good about being an Aboriginal person, I am able to create works that express how I feel inside”.
About the Author:
Catherine Hickson, Curator Special Projects at IDAIA.
Artworks © The Artists, Photo © IDAIA