Maple leaves abound at University of Wollongong’s All Canada Day

A scene from Kinngait: Riding Light Into the World

The High Commissioner for Canada to Australia, Michael Small (left), is pictured with the Director of the Centre for Canadian-Australian Studies at UOW, Dr Debra Dudek, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International), Professor Joe Chicharo.

Located in the beautiful coastal city of Wollongong in Australia’s New South Wales, UOW is internationally renowned for its excellence in innovation and diversity. With over ten thousand international students, UOW boasts enrolment from all over the world – including Canada.

It was, therefore, a great delight when the red maple leaf popped up all over campus for the celebration of All Canada Day, in which the university highlighted Canadian film, literature, and seminars on exchange to Canada and Canadian research funding. Information booths and displays decorated the campus library and communications buildings, giving students the opportunity to learn about Canadian culture and education.

As a special guest, the High Commissioner for Canada to Australia, Mr. Michael Small, took a tour of the campus and introduced a screening of a Canadian film entitled Kinngait: Riding Light Into the World, by Annette Mangaard. In his introduction, the High Commissioner pointed out the significant role that the isolated Inuit community of Cape Dorset plays in the psyche of the Canadian identity: the fact that very few Canadians have had the opportunity to visit the region yet the art of Cape Dorset is something that Canadians readily recognize and in fact it is art that is globally identifiable with Canada.

With its hauntingly beautiful soundtrack to accompany stunning visuals, Kinngait features intimate representations of the Canadian North and brings together the art of successive generations.

After the screening, students at UOW engaged in a lively discussion of the film, facilitated by documentary filmmaker and videographer Dr. David Blackall from UOW’s Faculty of Creative Arts.  Annette Mangaard, the Director of Kingaait, provided the audience with intimate insights of her experiences living in Cape Dorset, including how the Northern community received her documentary when she returned to show them the completed film.

You can check out the film’s trailer to get a little taste of what the students of UOW enjoyed.