In 2022 our Year 6 students participated in the NSW Schools Reconciliation Challenge, creating a wonderful selection of artworks, some of which went on to become finalists in the challenge.
As finalists in the competition Ace, Jakov and Maia recently visited Parliament House where they were thrilled to see their art displayed on the walls.
You can see their artworks and read their artist statements below.
Ace Maston: Our Colourful Culture
“My artwork represents connection and peace no matter who you are. Each hand has a different pattern and a different colour, all touching Australia. What it is saying is, no matter where you come from, from river to sea, it is still our island home. The background of my artwork is black, which is what happens when you mix all the primary paint colours together, the colours represent diversity in gender, race and much more. At the end of the day, we are all connected somehow.
To me reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people. If we accomplish that, Australia would be a better place. Reconciliation week is from the 27th of May to the 3rd of June, but really it should be and is everyday. The Reconciliation Week 2022 theme is Be Brave, Make Change. For hundreds of thousands of years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have owned the land (and they still do), but many years later it was taken away from them. Now, we have a week where everyone can appreciate and celebrate First Nations cultures and traditions. Without that, Australia won’t be the true Australia.
Maia Andren: From River to Sea Turtle
My artwork symbolises that wherever you go, whether it is from river or sea, your home will always be with you in your heart. My artwork is related to reconciliation because it shows the strong bond between Indigenous Peoples and the sea.
Through this, my artwork also relates to the theme ‘From River to Sea’.
Reconciliation means creating stronger relationships between Indigenous
and non-Indigenous people for the good of all Australians.
Jakov Prnjatovic: Where the River Meets the Sea
My artwork relates to the topic of river to sea our island home because it shows a whale, which is a creature from the ocean, and a river turtle, which is from rivers, connecting. My artwork is about how everything connects to each other, even rivers and oceans.
The patterns in the animals show how everything is beautiful, especially nature, and this shows how important it is to protect it. The coral and fish also show beauty and life. My artwork also shows that rivers are very important in Australia, being a water supply for most Australians. I show this by using the Indigenous symbol of long journey, to represent the river’s long journey across Australia
Reconciliation is a very important thing in Australia, and it means many things. It is about celebrating Indigenous cultures and practices, and celebrating Australia’s diversity. But it also means remembering the old times, and healing Country together. It’s about learning about Country, the language and remembering.
It’s about remembering the journey and the amazing things the First Nation’s people fought for including their rights, for Australia and to change the constitution.
Healing Country is not actually about fixing it, but about learning about the languages, people, plants and animals. The goal of reconciliation is to make everybody equal. This means removing racism, giving Aboriginal children and communities the education they need, and learning about their culture and language. To achieve these things, we will need determination and strength.
But, reconciliation is not just about healing and learning, but about learning and remembering the terrible things that happened, and apologising and not forgetting. Hopefully, if we achieve these goals, Australia will be an equal and happy place, with no racism and hopefully, everyone will be equal.