Austrade has released a new Nation Brand to raise the profile of Australian goods and services internationally and attract investment and visitors.
Designed by Balarinji, the new Nation Brand features Australia’s most recognisable symbol, the kangaroo, in a style that reflects a contemporary and authentic Indigenous Australian narrative.
The cultural magnitude of the new Nation Brand is immense as it marks a significant change in how we identify ourselves as a nation as one that embraces its rich 60,000+ year-old Aboriginal heritage.
The new Nation Brand is a contemporary and deeply authentic reflection of what our foundational story is as Australians to the world. It is groundbreaking and timely to have Australia embrace and incorporate Indigenous culture so strongly within our national identity and take it global.
For Balarinji Co-Founder and Cultural Director, Yanyuwa man John Moriarty AM, it is a restorative statement by a nation that took him from his mother at age 4 under the Stolen Generations policies, and a powerful acknowledgement of Australian identity.
The Kangaroo Mark is inspired by the concept of ‘yamulhu awara ambirriju’* from John’s Yanyuwa language spoken by families in Borroloola in the Northern Territory. It means ‘good country up ahead, good feeling for the future’. It's about Australia's deep Aboriginal heritage and the nation's irrepressible optimism.
These words in Yanyuwa and in English are provided by fluent Yanyuwa speaker and traditional custodian Samuel Evans and fluent Yanyuwa speaker and Monash University Linguistics Professor, John Bradley.
John said, “The kangaroo is bounding forward, reflecting Australia’s optimism. It is formed by a contemporary expression of three boomerangs. The head is the hooked ‘7’ boomerang used in ceremonies as a percussive, rhythmic instrument for song and dance.
“The body and tail are boomerangs used for hunting or foraging for food, or to connect with softwood to spark fire. This kangaroo tells the story of Country, of belonging and of living sustainably.
“The kangaroo’s story began in the Dreaming when Spirit Kangaroos crossed the land, naming the rivers, valleys and hills. The kangaroo is central to the identity of cultural groups in every corner of this continent. Songlines follow the ancestral journeys of the kangaroo, they teach each new generation the stories of Country.”
Balarinji’s work is about belonging, where language, culture, knowledge, Dreaming, Law, and Ceremony are interconnected and one with Country.
Aboriginal culture, sustainability and ways of connecting with Country are a distinctive and rich heritage that all of us can acknowledge, and be inspired by, as Australians.