The Ephraim Bani Gallery was named after the late Mr Ephraim Bani, who was the main visionary behind the Cultural Centre and a renowned cultural advisor and linguist for the region.The Ephraim Bani Gallery has an annual cultural maintenance exhibition that presents themes and issues of importance to the cultural identity of the Torres Strait and its people, with the aim to preserve local culture, history and heritage.
The space is temperature-controlled to safely accommodate and exhibit historical Torres Strait Islander artefacts and cultural heritage material.The cultural maintenance exhibition program has so far developed themes that tell the unique story of the Torres Strait, such as the pearling history, the people's reaction to the 1967 referendum decision and the unique nature of Torres Strait dance.
ADHI EPHRAIM BANI
Wagadamulaig. Koey Buaingu. Athe BARIN NGEP. Koedal Awgadhlig. Nungu Guuba bibiril Kuki naopa gar gatha maluya pagaik.
Mr Ephraim Bani, born on Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait; 7th traditional chief of Wagadagam; direct successor of Athe Bani, King of Wagadagam, through Kadhi, Aki, Mabua, Bani, Ephraim (Snr).The most significant person to reside as chief on the great Goemulgaw Kod.Mr Bani was first exposed to his wealth of traditional knowledge in the 1950s through direct contact with his uncles (Mawai), the traditional teachers who taught him the ways of survival, the recognition of spirituality, and affiliation with nature.
In the early years of his life, he worked as a pearl shell diver, and shell grader. He commenced his formal training with the School of Australian Linguistics in Darwin in 1975. He travelled in Alberta, Canada with his wife Petharie and spent a year studying linguistics at Calgary University in 1976.In 1978/79 Mr Bani continued his studies in anthropology and linguistics through the University of Queensland, St Lucia.
He was also the inaugural president for the Torres Strait Islanders Corporation for Arts & Literature Production. This organisation was responsible for conducting the annual Torres Strait Cultural Festival, of which Mr Bani was also the founder. Mr Bani was a visionary leader in the establishment of the first Torres Strait Islander cultural centre, Gab Titui.
As a true cultural custodian and ambassador, Mr Bani tells us the main function of culture as a whole is to unite the people into more or less social structures, that become a stable system of groups determining and regulating the relations of those individuals to one another, and adapt to the physical environment to make possible a stable and ordered social life.
Life without culture is a Life without Life. Past must exist for Present to create the Future.
E Bani, 1987Accredited Linguist
University of Calgary, Canada 1976
Author Warupaw UU Radio Program 4MW
University of Queensland,St Lucia, Brisbane 1977/79
Academic researcher, Indigenous Culture and Languages; Consultant, Bani Consultancy: Culture, History, Languages, and Art Forms.
The text above is extracted from the official plaque outside the Ephraim Bani Gallery at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre. The text was written by and approved for use on this website by Mr Gabriel Bani.