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Shara Delaney

First Nation Voice by Shara Delaney

My artwork for this year’s 2019 NAIDOC Theme ‘Voice Treaty Truth’ is about the first nation voice of this country having a say on our rights and issues regarding our people. Our culture is thousands of years old, we should be respected and acknowledged. Surviving genocide and the effects of colonialisation, we now as a country are faced with inter-generational trauma. So as history shows, it has always been a massive fight to get to where we are today because we’ve been oppressed as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Our ancestors have paved the way for our people and it continues for generations and generations. Trauma affects our families whether we live in remote or urban communities.

This design draws attention to treaty, the main discussion for this NAIDOC theme. If a Treaty was established, and it meant our people had more rights, then I would support it. We are the only Commonwealth country without a Treaty with its Indigenous people. I think it’s an important step in the right direction to have such an agreement in place for both parties to move forward together. Aboriginal people have not given up their sovereignty- do the rest of Australia understand this? I think by listening to our voices, we can better understand each other, understand the trauma and begin to heal as a country. Acknowledgement is a very important part of this process. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History is not taught enough in schools, which is why I can see there’s a lot of ignorant and misconceptions about our people. Education and awareness should continue into the workplace.

The ‘U’ symbol in the design are our people coming together to discuss Treaty such as the Uluru Statement from the heart. The wavy pattern on each side is the journey we are on. The brown dots represent our people, and the white dots are the rest of the country as we move forward for a shared future.

Charlie Chambers Jnr

Be The Voice by Charlie Chambers Jnr

The central theme of my painting is Voice.

The centre of this painting represents the land we walk on. The dots represent the wave of our voice, carrying the truth of the First Nation People across the land. The top and bottom of the painting is representing the water that this land is surrounded by and the left and right of this painting represents the bushland. The figures are representing different communities of this country, whether they’d be immigrants or First Nations People telling the truth to get a better understanding about our mob.

Holly Sanders

'Ngulliboo' - All Of Us by Holly Sanders

The concentric circles in the background represents the diversity, strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures. It represents our rich heritage, languages, traditions, lore and history - the world's oldest continuous living cultures.

The centre meeting circle and travel lines represents our journey towards a Treaty for our nation, guided by our Elders and our ancestors. It symbolises recognition, voice and an agreement with a truthful understanding of our history, true reconciliation and genuine healing.

The outer meeting place symbols represents our communities in which both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians work collaboratively, acknowledging our true history. It symbolises all of us working together for a shared future, taking pride in and respecting the Indigenous cultures that have cared for and been a part of this land for thousands of years.

Voice. Treaty. Truth. NAIDOC week 2019

Lani Balzan

Gari Yala (Speak The Truth) by Lani Balzan

This painting represents a timeline of country: our motherland and the layers that represent it before colonisation, the change when colonisation happened, the present and the future.

The outside represents the beginning before colonisation where our culture remained untouched and our country remained sacred. Moving inwards to the next layer, this represents when colonisation happened and the alteration to the land and our people from this. The next layer represents the present, the fight we face for change, the importance of a Treaty, and voices coming together. The middle represents the future; it is the change we so deeply desire, the acknowledgement that we deserve and truth of our people and our culture.

Our people have been on this land for more than 65,000 years. There needs to be an understanding of country and of our people who are the oldest continuing culture on this planet. This is the only way to move forward for our future of this country.

Remembering that we are a multi-cultural Aboriginal country in 2019, we come from all different walks of life and all different decent lines as do I. Aboriginal people of this land have not always had an untold or untrue history voiced.  Our voices have not always been completely heard and this is continuing to happen. The true story of colonisation must be told, must be heard, and must be acknowledged!

The present: we are up in arms, we are fighting for country and still fight to be heard. Our voices are important! Without our voices, things cannot change for the future.

The future is to have our voices heard to have sovereignty, a Treaty to our land.  To come together and to understand the importance of our culture. Our culture is not something just for Aboriginal people to be proud of, but for all Australians to embrace the culture and our land we all live on.

Nathan Patterson

Treaty Together by Nathan Patterson

This painting for me represents Connection & Healing.

Connecting back to the Land, back to our Culture. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people have fought many many years to have our voice heard in this country; we have fought for the truth to be heard and we have fought for Treaty. Only when our cries are heard will there be healing within our Communities. There will be a re-connection to ancestral Lands, represented two hands in the painting.

The Boomerangs symbolize the return on Culture and Country through recognized Treaties. The Gumleaves & Wattle around the water symbolize Healing. The sun setting behind the Gumtree tells the Truth: "It always has and always will be Aboriginal Land". 

Nathan Patterson

Voice, Treaty, Truth by Luke Mallie

When we learn from yesterday it makes us stronger today.

Respect for each other allows us all to have a voice.

The 2 boys represent a brighter future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures to live in harmony and unity.