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Ribbons of Steel - a cultural celebration, Tuesday, 12 October 1999, 12.30 pm.

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Allan Morris MHR and Senator John Tierney  

Ribbons of Steel - a cultural celebration

Tuesday, 12 October 1999  


Thank you Lance.

Colleagues, special guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I had the great pleasure of opening the Ribbons of Steel artists' day in August and was overwhelmed by the depth and diversity of the works.

The exhibition is nothing short of inspiring and it's an enormous privilege for us to have it here.

Ribbons of Steel is a magnificent tribute to the men and women of the Newcastle steelworks.

It commemorates the closure of the steelworks - but also does so much more.

It celebrates the spirit of the steelworkers.

A proud tradition underpinning much of Australia's industrial development and economic prosperity.

It is impossible to overstate the impact the steelworks has had on Newcastle, and in fact the entire country.

An impact explored and celebrated in the exhibition.

Ribbons of Steel consists of an extraordinary array of art forms involving many creative and talented Australians.

The intensity of emotion contained in these works is tangible.

And it is something that will be felt by every person who sees them.

This is art that tells a story.

A story of 84 years of steelmaking in Newcastle.

A story of pride, achievement, and worker dignity.

And it's a story that will continue to be told for generations to come.

It's no easy feat in one event to capture the history of an industry over 84 years.

This milestone though has been made possible through unique partnerships between BHP, the Australia Council and, of course, the artists and the Newcastle community.

These creative collaborations have resulted in an extraordinary achievement.

I congratulate everyone involved in making this exhibition a possibility and for bringing it here to Parliament House.

It serves as an important reminder of the strength of spirit we have in this country.

There is enormous creativity and skill here.

And there is great conviction.

I strongly encourage you to take your time to explore Ribbons of Steel.

It is an experience not to be missed.

Thank you.



jy  1999-10-14  10:55