Gifter Artisan: Sydney Phillips
Sydney is a proud Aboriginal artist who uses painting to connect both sides of his family history, Ballardong and Wadjala. Sydney recalls that “the nuns of St Mary’s didn’t quite know what to do with an inquisitive blue-eyed Ballardong boy, so they put me in the corner with some paper and a crayon…and that’s where my art started”. Sydney is a regular artist at the Waterwheel Gallery. You can view his artwork and have a chat with him at the Gallery’s monthly open weekends.
Sydney is also a Tenant Artist and Ambassador for Housing Choices Australia, and is contracted to design coffee cups for Change Please, a social enterprise empowering people experiencing homelessness through training them to be baristas.
In 2016 Sydney discovered that he is a direct descendant of John Septimus Roe (Australia’s first Surveyor- General). A casual chat in a local art gallery led him to JAK Films and the production of a documentary about his story ‘Finding Moort’ (Moort meaning home). Sydney is also a participant in the Humans of Armadale project where he shares his story to pay it forward and instill positivity in the community.