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The heart of Australia, Caris P

11 November 2021

Visions of Country: check out the winning student artworks from NAIDOC Week 2021

Young artists from across Australia have shared their visions of how to ‘Heal Country’ as part of the 2021 NAIDOC Week art competition.

Students aged five to 19 created artworks evoking this year’s theme, which calls for all Australians to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration and destruction.

Organised in collaboration with the National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation (NIKERI) Institute, there were 57 entries received. Each student included an accompanying story to explain their artwork and its connection to the theme.

The judging panel, comprising Indigenous and non-Indigenous Deakin staff and students, was impressed by the calibre of entrants. Take some time to celebrate our winners and their moving, thought-provoking and inspiring artworks.

2021 overall winner

‘Towri’ shield of lore, by Quinn G S (click on the image to see it full size):

'Towri' Shield of Lore, by Quinn G S‘I created this piece as a representation of a sacred site to my people of the Wagaman Tribe. In the land of the Wagaman there are 10 waterholes, which represent the 10 lores of the surrounding tribes.

My piece is focused on ‘Wurrugaal’, which is a large seam of white quartz at the head of the 10th waterhole. Here is where five of the seven tribes came together to solidify the 10 eternal lores.

The bottom design represents Tate River where the seam of quartz is found. The man at the bottom of the shield represents the connection between country and its people.

The hands represent the passing of knowledge between generations – past, present and future – with the sharing of knowledge and acknowledgement to preserve and heal Country.

The man (my father) and kangaroo at the top of this shield portrays the connection between man, animal and Country.’

Middle category (10–14 years) winners

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Junior category (5–9 years) winners

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NAIDOC stands for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. NAIDOC Week is held each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Find out more about the origins and history of NAIDOC Week.

*Banner image credit: ‘The heart of Australia’’ by Caris P.*

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