Congratulations to the Department of Defence Australia on the launch of its 2019 - 2022 Defence Reconciliation Action Plan (D-RAP) at the Australian War Memorial.
We were very proud to design the D-RAP which featured artwork from Kalkadoon woman, Chern'ee Sutton.
The artwork is titled ‘Caina Putut, Ilya, Wartanganha' which in the Kalkadoon language means, ‘Long ago, Today, Tomorrow’. Chern'ee's vibrant painting that Balarinji worked with is a tribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have served, and continue to serve, in the Australian Defence Force.
The Rainbow Serpent represents the Dreamtime and the beginning of the longest living culture in the world and it also represents the longest continuing belief in the world which is the Rainbow Serpent.
The reds and oranges in the middle of the painting represents our sunburnt country and Uluru, the birthplace and creation of all life in Australia.
The red, yellow and black circles represent Aboriginal peoples and the blue, green and white circles represent Torres Strait Islander peoples, all of whom have a strong connection to their culture, their history, the land, air and sea.
The Southern Cross unites all Australians as one and it reminds us of our past with our ancestors for the past 60,000 years passing down creation stories from generation to generation while gazing at the star systems that have remained ageless since the dawn of time.
The large community symbol represents the Australian Public Service who encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to enlist and serve in the Navy, Army and Air Force with the yellow footprints representing their enlistment journey to the Australian Defence Force.
The Navy is represented by the guided Missile Frigate and the shark who relentlessly patrols the waters, always ready to strike. The Army is represented by the M1 Abrams tank and the kangaroo whose speed and agility is always moving forward. The Air Force is represented by the FA 18 Hornet and the eagle who soars high above keeping a watchful eye out for their prey.
The smaller community symbols joined by the white dotted lines represents the Australian Defence Force which is all connected as one to the land, sea and the skies.
The blue fingerprints around the outside of the painting represent the Armed Forces that protect our borders, our citizens and our way of life.