My artwork relates to the theme ‘From 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 on the animals show how everything is beautiful, especially nature, and how important it is to protect it. The coral and fish also show beauty and life. My artwork shows that rivers are very important in Australia, being a water supply for most Australians. I show this by using an Indigenous symbol of a 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 Nations peoples fought for – for 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 access to education, and learning about First Nations cultures and languages. To achieve these things we will need determination and strength. But reconciliation is not just about healing and learning, it’s about learning and remembering the terrible things that happened, apologising and not forgetting. Hopefully, if we achieve these goals, Australia will be a happy place with no racism and hopefully everyone will be equal.
Artist: Jakov Prnjatovic