The journey of our First Nations people and the natural beauty of the Port Adelaide region are reflected in a bold new artwork on display at UnitingSA’s Child, Youth and Family Services.

The 10m piece was created by local Narungga artist and UnitingSA Aboriginal Family Worker Ingrid O’Loughlin, who painted the artwork to mark NAIDOC Week.

Despite NAIDOC Week being rescheduled from July to November because of COVID-19 restrictions, we are thrilled to be able to install the artwork this month.

Ingrid says it represents our First Nations people in the western suburbs, particularly the influence of the Port River and the Yurta Bulti region of Kaurna Land.

Yurta Bulti is the name of the water course that covers the Port River and Estuary region – an important food source for the Kaurna people.

She explains that the artwork represents night and day, the course of land and water, as well as native animals and water creatures.

“I was inspired by the natural features of the Port, and especially the dolphins,” Ingrid says.

“The artwork shows how pristine the area would have been prior to colonisation, and I hope that the project reinforces how it will always be important to culture.”

The art project was inspired by the NAIDOC theme for 2020, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, which recognises and celebrates that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

It was initiated by the Communities for Children Program and funded through our Community Impact Group – a group of local parents who support the development programs, services and events which engage families in our community.

People supported through our Connected Families Program were also encouraged to collaborate.

UnitingSA’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Committee also supports the creative project, ensuring it recognises our organisation’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation. 

The artwork will be permanently displayed in the outdoor courtyard of the Child, Youth and Family services building at 58 Dale Street, and will provide a vibrant backdrop for playgroup, community activities and celebrations often held in that space. 

For more information about the art project, please contact Sav Riley on (08) 8440 2172.  

NAIDOC Week has been rescheduled to 8-15 November 2020. For more information, click here: https://www.naidoc.org.au/