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Biami Mara (Newcastle Star)

11 August 2009 | Posted in: Media


Floyd Tighe collected traditional Aboriginal art for more than 20 years, not for its investment value but, because it tells the history of his Aboriginal culture.

Never in those 20-or-so years had he ever consid-ered opening his own gallery but now Tighe is the proud operator of Newcastle’s first all-Aboriginal art gallery – Biami Mara.

Biami Mara, which means Creation Spirit in the traditional Aboriginal language of Gamilaoi, was an unthinkable dream for Tighe until he was pushed to turn his passion into a career by some inspired people.

After an adult life spent working as a labourer, Tighe, 43, said a bad back prevented him finding work when he moved to Newcastle from Moree a few years ago.

He was referred to Job Centre Australia and vocat-ional rehabilitation consultant Chris Baldasan to find work, and that’s when his true calling was realised.

“I have always had a passion for art,” Tighe said.

“He (Mr Baldasan) went above and beyond his work obligation and outside work time to help me.

“He looked into what Renew Newcastle is doing and thought it was a great opportunity for me to start my own business.

“They (Renew Newcastle organisers) have been a great help, it’s a great scheme to get people started in business.”

Biami Mara opened three weeks ago at 200 Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle (opposite David Jones building).

From The Newcastle Star.