My first Aboriginal Art Mural

Wunya (hello) everyone. My name is Lauren Turner and I am a proud Yanyuwa woman from the Borroloola area in the Northern Territory. Even though my ancestors are from NT, I have grown up on Turrbal and Gubbi Gubbi land since I was born. It has been an honour to share this Aboriginal art mural with both our Indigenous and non Indigenous students and staff members at North Lakes State College. My goal with this mural was to start the right conversations, creating safe and valuable learning experiences about our First Nations culture. It was so wonderful to see both students and staff contribute which helped create true connection and meaning during the process. The design is also represented in our schools signature email block footer and used in PowerPoint as the background image which is utilised by our wonderful NLSC staff. 

This contemporary Aboriginal Art Mural was created around North Lakes State College colours and the core values – Choice, Courage and Respect. The mural consists of 5 huge corrugated iron panels, approx. 40m in length and 6m tall. I have titled it ‘Walk with me’.

The bottom row (purple wave) incorporates symbols which represent the core values. The circles joined by travel lines is a symbol which encompasses Choice.  Encouraging students to make the right choices to be able to continue on the right learning path through school and life.

The next symbol represents mountains/hurdles which encourages our students to have the Courage to conquer all challenges which they may encounter. Courage means to act against your fears, even if your fall and need to persevere time and time again.

The third symbol which will be represented on the middle panel along the wall is Respect. The circle and person symbols show our meeting places where all students, staff and our community can come together regardless of backgrounds or ability. We respect the land we stand on and strive to always learn, lead and succeed. There are 3 meeting places which represent the P-9 campus, 10-12 campus and our Gubbi Gubbi community. 

The middle wave (teal area) was the interactive section of the mural where students and staff had the opportunity to contribute to the piece. The representation of the hand prints gives a sense of ‘belonging to’ - that we all belong here, we are stronger together.

The top section of the mural (navy area) embodies the symbol of ‘person’. This represents that we are all amazing individuals, who all have their own unique path to travel on but more a reminder that we never travel alone.

It makes me so proud to be an Indigenous woman, mentor, teacher and artist to see what this mural has already sparked within others. Sharing my culture, creating connections and educating others on our First Nations peoples brings a sense of promise, growth and celebration. I can’t wait to continue this journey. 

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