03 Jul - 04 Aug 2022

Cooee Mittigar

Artworks by Leanne Watson

This NAIDOC week we are delighted to showcase the work of acclaimed artist and illustrator, Leanne Watson.

Cooee Mittigar, meaning Come Here Friend, is an invitation to yana (walk), on Dharug Country. On display are a selection of artworks from this stunning picture book, by Dharug artist Leanne Mulgo Watson. Written by Jasmine Seymour in English interspersed with Dharug language, the illustrations come to life, telling a story on Dharug Songlines, while introducing children and adults-alike to Dharug Nura (Country).

Greeted by Mulgo, the black swan, readers are welcomed to Nura. Journeying through the seasons, Mulgo describes the land, skyscape, birds, animals and totems. It is a gentle guide to how Dharug people read the seasons, knowing when it is time to hunt and time to rest. It is also an appeal to remember, offering new ways of seeing and reading the lands of the surrounding Sydney region.


Leanne is a Dharug woman commonly known in the Aboriginal community as Mulgo meaning Black Swan. Leanne is the daughter of Aunty Edna Watson and Uncle Allan Watson, elders of the Dharug community. Leanne was born and raised in Sydney, she is now a mother and grandmother and has spent her life living, promoting and protecting Dharug culture, people and places. Leanne began painting at a young age under the guidance of her mother and brother, who helped nurture her into the accomplished artist she is today.

Leanne has been director of the Dharug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation for the past 15 years, and is a formidable advocate for the rights of her people and the protection of her culture.

Drop in and make a paper animal sculpture inspired by the beautiful artworks on display. Display your 3D creations in the exhibition space, creating a community of animals for everyone to enjoy.

Artwork from Cooee Mittigar by Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson, published by Magabala Books.

3 July – 4 August
10am – 4pm

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