Speaking in Colour is a leading provider of Aboriginal art workshops and education resources in the Newcastle and Hunter region of NSW. At this stage the business operates solely in this locality. The aim of the business is to develop education and creative resources that embrace Aboriginal perspectives and foster reconciliation. The business is owned and operated by Aboriginal arts and education consultant, Cherie Johnson, who says,

As an educator and artist I know that communication across the generations is the key way to effect change in our society. I choose to work with young people so that they have access to the best information and experiences relating to Australia’s unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. In the true spirit of reconciliation I share my story and my skills so that people can build a better understanding of our diverse Indigenous cultures.

Speaking in Colour has built a solid reputation for developing innovative workshops and education kits which are used by regional art galleries and schools as part of their education programs. The business also provides staff training and development in Aboriginal education techniques, as well as design services for annual reports, logos and public art commissions. Key clients who have utilised the services of Speaking in Colour include:

University of Newcastle Hunter Health
The Wollotuka Institute Bahtabah Local Aboriginal lands Council
Newcastle City Council Awabakal Local Aboriginal Lands Council
Newcastle Art Gallery Yamuloong
Lake Macquarie City Council Ngarrama Aboriginal Production Company
Lake Macquarie Art Gallery Awabakal Pre-school
Landcom Birraban Pre-school
The Hunter Institute of TAFE, the Purrimbah Unit Windale Community Centre
Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre          Guluwa Hub- Scholarship intuitive of the Department of Education.

Schools Speaking in Colour has provided services for:

Callaghan College- Waratah Campus                                    New Lambton South Public School                                                  
Callaghan College- Wallsend Campus Mt View High School
Callaghan College- Jesmond Campus Muswellbrooke Public School
Cardiff HS Pelican Flats Public School
Glendale HS St Phillips Christian College
Gateshead Public School Warners Bay HS
Jewels Public school Windale Public School

Lady Pymbols College


The Speaking in Colour logo visulaises a map of Australia with Tasmania being the yellow circle; this represents our Aboriginal land. The quotation marks within suggest Aboriginal Australia has a lot to say and we seek ears willing to listen.

The phase “Speaking in Colour” comes from Una Rey, curator of the exhibition ‘Speaking in Colour’ on display at the Newcastle City Art Gallery in 2011. Una’s experience working with remote Aboriginal artists, art centers and art galleries spans four decades. Her passion and love of Aboriginal art is expressed through her writings and artistic expression. Thank you Una for allowing me to name my business Speaking in Colour, it sums up perfectly how Aboriginal people express themselves through art and culture.


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