This year, we invited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from all around Australia to enter our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Art Competition, and what an incredible collection of artwork we received!
We are very passionate about supporting local Indigenous artists and were absolutely blown away by the countless beautiful entries we received that inspired us and reflected our vision at Act for Kids!
The decision was not an easy one, but after a lot of deliberation we picked three lucky winners. A huge congratulations to Ella Gillespie, Deborah Newenham and Anita Morena!
At only 16 years of age, Ella Gillespie from NSW was our youngest winner. The proud Indigenous girl of the Awabakal nation said winning the competition has inspired her to continue doing what she loves and has encouraged her to strive for her dreams.
“I will continue to persist on designing new and upcoming creations, and inspiring others to believe in what they love doing and keep on succeeding in life,” she said.
My Place – By Ella Gillespie
The circle in the centre of my painting represents my safe place, a place where I belong and feel connected, somewhere I have always come back to; my happy place. The surrounding circles represent the people closest to me. The white lines show their journey back to our happy place. The background represents country – green foliage, rivers, streams and the earth.
Let’s protect our kids – By Deborah Anne Newenham
The tree of support in the top centre represents that all branches lead to possible support we can find for our effected children. The two big kangaroos either side of the tree are the protectors of our tree of support. Our happy children to the top left represent our empowered kids in the safety of the safe houses. Safe houses are represented by the series of four circles with blue dots in them. The lilac flowers represent the specialist teams’ services – from community education to tertiary services. The meeting place icon (with men and women sitting around) represents the meetings held by Act for Kids specialist teams in order to communicate and discuss the needs for “All kids to have a safe and happy childhood, free from abuse and neglect”. Dolphins (for the kids) represent peace and harmony, protection, playfulness and joy, resurrection, inner strength and cooperation. Turtles represents longevity, endurance, persistence and continuation of life. Frogs represent leading you towards a physical or emotional cleansing.
Reconciliation, Knowledge and Togetherness – By Anita Morena
I believe that in order to provide safety for our children we must gather knowledge from our Elders who have been taught traditional peace keeping ways and lores of the land. Gathering often to share experiences and contribute our strengths will further develop our communities in the process of reconciliation. Communication and respect are vital, as depicted in my painting. The campfire is traditional lore and spirit of the land and ancestors. It represents knowledge with red and blue dotted circles. The people sitting at the campfire with tools are bringing their experience and sharing with each other (inside blue dotted circles). Togetherness is represented by the yellow footsteps taking the shared knowledge into our communities. Colours used in this painting represent both Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islander peoples.