Moree artist Val Pitt wins Moree District Health Service competition

Moree artist Val Pitt won the Moree District Health Service competition. She is pictured with her winning artwork (centre) and her great grandson Isaiah Priestley, granddaughter Tara Priestley, Moree Hospital acute health service manager Bronwyn Cosh, Aboriginal Health coordinator Candice Dahlstrom, Community Health manager Anne Lemmon and Community Health nurse unit manager Lee Clissold.

Moree artist Val Pitt won the Moree District Health Service competition. She is pictured with her winning artwork (centre) and her great grandson Isaiah Priestley, granddaughter Tara Priestley, Moree Hospital acute health service manager Bronwyn Cosh, Aboriginal Health coordinator Candice Dahlstrom, Community Health manager Anne Lemmon and Community Health nurse unit manager Lee Clissold.

Moree artist Val Pitt will soon be able to see one of her artworks featured throughout Moree District Health Service, after winning a recent competition.

As part of Moree District Health Service’s commitment to ensuring the hospital is culturally appropriate and welcoming to Aboriginal people, the staff decided to run a competition to find a local Aboriginal artwork to feature on future signage, brochures, shirts, badges and more.

“We have a regular Aboriginal collaboration meeting which is about ensuring we’re consulting with our Aboriginal employees and making sure the health service is culturally appropriate and welcoming,” Community Health manager Anne Lemmon said.

“As part of that we decided we wanted a local artwork that reflected the community, so we held a competition and Val won.”

Moree Aboriginal artist Val Pitt’s artwork of the Mehi River was selected as the winner of the competition, which opened in September and closed in November.

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When Ms Pitt found out about the competition, she immediately drew inspiration from the river, since the hospital is located along the Mehi River, and she grew up on the banks of the Moree icon.

“I grew up in a tin shack at the Top Camp, near the Mehi River,” she said.

“Growing up by the river has left me many fond memories and has also influenced my artworks as I grew older.”

The winning artwork depicts the Gwydir River running into the Mehi River, to all the creek waterholes and campsites along the river and around Moree and the Gwydir Valley.

Ms Pitt was thrilled to find out she was the winner of the competition, which included a cash prize.

“I was that excited,” she said.

A piece of Ms Pitt’s artwork will be screenprinted and used as a logo image for all of Moree Hospital’s future signage.

The hospital currently has plans to build a healing garden out the front and a peace garden out the back and will incorporate Ms Pitt’s design into the signage for those gardens.