AT 21 years old, artist Jade Dolman has used her passion for art, youth work and culture to create her own business.
The Inglewood resident launched her business J.D Penangke at the start of 2015, which runs Aboriginal art and cultural workshops for schools and organisations.
Miss Dolman said the name had a personal connection.
“The name J. D. Penangke comes from my initials and Penangke (pronounced pen-ung-ga) is my skin name,” she said.
“I am Whadjuk Nyoongar on my mother’s side and eastern Arrernte on my father’s side.”
Miss Dolman said she noticed a lack of education in schools about indigenous history and culture.
“Even when I was at school, which wasn’t that long ago, we didn’t learn much at all,” she said.
“I think in Year 8 they mentioned Aboriginal culture once and that was pretty much it.
“There needs to be a big push for learning Nyoongar language in schools or even just having it as an option.”
The most important part of the business for Miss Dolman is the ability to share her culture, especially with young children at school workshops.
“That is the one thing that has pushed me – I’m not doing it for myself, I’m doing it for my culture. I think it’s really important to keep it alive,” she said.
Miss Dolman has run cultural and art workshops at more than 20 schools around Perth and a three-day school holiday program at the Art Gallery of WA with 400 participants.
“So far my business has exceeded my expectations by miles,” she said.
“The younger kids love the workshops. I really have to make it interactive and exciting and they are constantly asking questions.
“Not only do they learn about the art and the dot painting but they learn about the culture subconsciously.
“Then they can create their own story within the painting and can go home and tell their parents about it.”
Miss Dolman is in her final year of a Fine Arts and Indigenous Studies degree at UWA and has her sights set on starting a program for indigenous girls.
“I’m going with the flow right now but I’m hoping to focus on Aboriginal girls and leadership, maybe set up a program within my business to do that,” she said.
Miss Dolman said her mother, Channel 10 news anchor Narelda Jacobs, was her biggest inspiration.
“She is a great role model for me,” she said.
“She’s been so persistent with her goals in life; she worked really, really hard and managed to get to the top.
“She was a single mum at 20 so if she can do it, anyone can do it.
“For her to get this far – it always keeps me inspired.”
Opinion, page 8