From an activity with classmates to an exhibition at The Kodja Place, Kojonup school students have had their artwork showcased to the wider community. Their work is part of a five-week Cultural and Creative Expressions exhibition at the Kojonup cultural centre coinciding with 2022 NAIDOC Week. Local artist and novelist Lisa Martello-Hart spent six months guiding local students, with personal expression and cultural connection the key themes of the exhibition. The Kodja Place manager Jill Watkin said it was important to recognise up-and-coming local talent. “Our young people are the future of our Shire, so it is of vital importance we provide them with opportunities and encourage them to develop their skills and talent and offer them a platform to encourage this,” she said. More than 600 people have visited the exhibition since it started on June 27. “It continues to attract visitors which is fantastic as this is encouraging for our planning of future exhibitions,” Ms Watkin said. The exhibits include recreations of Aunty Ettie’s birthing tree, a sacred place for the Keneang people located on the western edge of Kojonup District High School. The tree is named after the late Granny Ettie Eades, whose family had a campsite at the location. Some of the works have been created using leaves, bark and other tree materials collected from around the site of the tree. As a result of the students’ pieces, relative Leanne Eades created an artwork of the tree in reciprocation. Other art subjects included Carnaby’s black cockatoos and shearing. Ms Watkin said all the exhibits had some connection to the Eades camping site, which is situated opposite the original Kojonup Aboriginal Reserve.