Faces of The New North27 Sep 2018
Introducing the Faces of The New North!
Left to right: Jay-C, Ruth, Jessi
The people of the North have spoken, after receiving over 70 nominations; Northland is thrilled to announce the three lucky winners who have now become the Faces of The New North. The Faces of #TheNewNorth, Ruth Williams (61, Reservoir), Jessi Lewis (29, Thornbury) and Jay-C Salonga (27, Bundoora), will not only represent Northland but are featured in the centre on a 7 metre by 3 metre wall at Northland painted by artist Clarie Foxton. Claire is an emerging street-artist whose unique style of photorealism, colour, shape, form and texture captures the hearts of onlookers.
Williams, an English teacher at the Distance Education Centre in Thornbury, was nominated by her son’s partner and says, “it was such a surprise that I was nominated and then to be selected as one of the three winners, I couldn’t believe it. I still don’t believe it”. Williams has called the Northern suburbs of Melbourne home for the past 30 years and, in that time she’s not only shopped at Northland, but is actively involved in a number of sustainability programmes in the local community, including The Darebin Creek Sweepers. “I’m very excited to represent Northland , because I feel that Northland really cares about its community, which is something very important to me”. In 2013 Ruth enrolled to complete a Graduate Certficate in Sustainability at Swinburne as she felt that it was important to know what we as a community can do to contribute to a better world. In 2015 Ruth took part in the Commuinity Leaders in Sustainability program run by the Darebin Council.
Lewis has been a regular shopper at Northland for the last 6 years, residing in Thornbury while studying at La Trobe University in Bundoora. “I’ve loved watching how Northland has transformed in recent years. It feels awesome to be the Face of The New North, to be representing not only Northland but also the amazing vibrant community that surrounds the centre too”, he said. Lewis is a very passionate writer, artist and is a passionate advocate for diversity, which he expresses through his online editorial The Melbourne Critique. Jessi began the Melbourne Critique in 2017, it came from his continued involvement with and love of Melbourne's diverse creative scene. He has toured and presented work nationally and internationally over the past 14 years, through this editorial, he not only draws attention to the culture of Melbourne, but also to the social and political believing strongly in the role art can play in shifting public perception, he now works alongside individuals from First Nations, Refugee and Gender Diverse backgrounds ensuring The Melbourne Critique is the upmost representation of Melbourne diversity.
Having grown up in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne, being the face of The New North comes naturally to Salonga, which might explain why his wife nominated him. When asked what this means to him, he said, “it feels like I’ve been coming to Northland my whole life. I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity. Our community here in the North is so lucky to have a centre that gives so much back to us”. Salonga also dedicates his spare time back to the community as lead choreographer for dance crew Raw and Rugged. The Raw & Rugged Dance Crew was formed in February, 2011 on an empty basketball court, Melbourne. Bridgette and Junior Afu'ie founded the group as a means of providing opportunities for young people in Melbourne to access dance, arts and cultural activities. The entire Raw & Rugged team are a testament to the power of passion and purpose with countless local, national and international titles in street dance already under their belts.
The Faces of The New North mural is located near the Information Desk, opposite Priceline.