Jesuit Social Services recently purchased two new pieces of artwork for our living skills residential programs Dillon House and Perry House. Both properties are home to young people with involvement in the criminal justice system, and seek to develop independent living skills as participants re-integrate back into the community.

The artworks were purchased at Confined 7, The Torch’s annual exhibition featuring new works by Indigenous artists currently in, or recently released from prisons in Victoria. The Torch aims to support the artists with the opportunity to connect with their communities and to promote the practice of culture in rehabilitation. They also aim to highlight the issue of over-representation of Indigenous people in Victorian prisons.

The pieces purchased are by Tribal Gathering Unbreakable by Robert R Yorta Yorta (2015) and Home (Wiradjuri) by Darcy PN Wiradjuri (2014).

This year for the first time, almost all of the artworks were available for sale as a result of the Aboriginal Arts Policy Model recently announced by Corrections Victoria and the Victorian Government. Under this policy, Indigenous artists currently in custody may sell their artworks if they are participants in the Statewide Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community program (SIAPC) delivered by the Torch. 100% of the purchase price goes direct to the artist with no commissions or fees charged by The Torch or Corrections Victoria.

Jesuit Social Services are currently delivering on actions that form the basis of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Our organisation wide consultation identified the display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, and artwork, as being a significant gesture of reconciliation. Our residential housing team were keen to purchase artwork, for display, at Dillon and Perry House as part of their contribution to the RAP.