I don't think we were thinking budget at all.
We were looking at bigger than Ben-Hur.
It was really important with the piece that it was big. We wanted it - you know, scale was really important.
We wanted to have something that inspired people to stop and think about what it was about.
I mean, what what other word could you use for the statue?
When we were doing discussions about different ideas and we really workshopped what it was we actually wanted to say about Aboriginal women artists.
And when we chose this design, we wanted it to hold a place of power and strength.
Ngardang Girri Kalat Mimini was what we decided on the name for the group.
I’m the Mimini in the group and Mimini is a Ngarrindjeri word.
Mimini is mother, daughter, sister, auntie.
All of those.
Our idea was to have it representing all Aboriginal women.
And the narrative that we wanted to tell was about Aboriginal women, our ancestors.
Who found creative ways to make a living in an environment that was pretty terrible for them.
They were the quiet achievers.
They were the backbones of the family.
Sculptures and things like that, that are by women and and for women and tell stories of women is really important for our young people.
As we all started to get together, we realised that we've all got that person in our life, grandparents and great grandparents and people who've gone through those really hard years of colonisation.
And we started to realise that we would like to recognise all of those women.
We're still mourning things like the Stolen Gen.
I mean, the impact that that had on our, you know, our ancestors and our elders.
I believe that we are learning to understand the resilience of Aboriginal women in this country.
I don't believe that the country as a whole understands the absolute resilience that they had to show just to survive and for us all to be here.
Telling stories of the women and the matriarchs that I've been trying to tell stories of my whole practice.
It feels like a bit of a mic-drop moment.
The highlight for me for being involved in the Victorian Women's Public Art Program has been to unite women in the conversation around the impact that women have in our society.
This beautiful arm and basket will be a really visual sign for young First Nations people to say,
Oh wow, we're here, we're actually here.
We adapt and we use what's around us.
And that's how Aboriginal people have survived.
My fishnet weaving, the baskets that we make, the feather flowers - they were all once tools that our people used so we turned it into art.
You know, when you are looking at a scale model of what we started with, like, the basket sat in our hands.
We all had a part in weaving it.
So we are all in that sculpture.
All of the media that was there, I was like, overwhelmed.
I'm thinking, Oh, look what we have done.
And there was a conversation we had with the engineer when we talked about an arm, and we said it has to look like a female’s arm.
And he said, all arms look the same
and I go ‘No, they don't. They don't look the same.’
It can't be ‘just an arm’. It needs to be a female arm.
When I first saw the statue, I cried.
Really...I was, I’m going to get emotional.
I was really proud.
This is actually the hand of our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters all together that have actually kept our mobs together.
When we think about our women of the past, our women of today and our young women of tomorrow... that's pretty powerful those two words together,