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Patty Mills delivers backboard to Gab Titui Cultural Centre

Commonwealth Games Ambassador Patty Mills has attended the Gab Titui Cultural Centre, presenting an autographed backboard and basketball to the community, that will be displayed in the gallery.

The pieces were donated by Mr Mills to mark his visit to the Torres Strait Islands, and to celebrate Thursday Island art.

The backboard, which was inspired by Torres Strait heritage, features a linocut print carved using traditional patterns called mineral by multi-skilled contemporary artist who grew up on Thursday Island, Brian Robinson.

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM thanked Mr Mills for his thoughtful gift.

“The artwork has been carefully created to reflect the Torres Strait culture,” he said.

“The turtle was drawn on the linoleum and then carved out carefully following the linear design of the animal.

“The background markings and patterns known as mineral which are traditional Torres Strait designs were carved spontaneously and free-hand.”

The backboard started its journey in Melbourne as a marine ply backboard with a ring, then it was shipped to Brisbane, where it was wrapped with the print and coated in acrylic to ensure its longevity.

The backboard then travelled to Cairns to a special Commonwealth Games function where Mr Mills and his teammate Tommy Pau signed the artwork and has now arrived at its final destination, the Gab Titui Cultural Centre.

Mr Stephen said that he was thrilled to see Mr Mills back in the Torres Strait and hopes that his visit will showcase the region.

“Patty is an inspiration to all Torres Strait Islanders, and the community is always excited when he returns home,” Mr Stephen said.

“He has achieved so much in his chosen field and continues to be a role model for our young people.”

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