ANZSOG commissioned an artwork from local Indigenous painter Emma Bamblett for the conference. A proud Wemba Wemba woman, born and raised in Echuca on the Murray River, Emma has found inspiration and motivation from the arts community in Melbourne as well as working in the Aboriginal child and family welfare sector. "Journey" represents coming together, journey and connection - all tenets behind Reimagining Public Administration.
Most of Emma's artwork is deeply personal, representing the stories and struggles for vulnerable children, youth and families through whom she meets in her occupation. Emma prefers to paint with bright and vibrant acrylic colours in her artwork, as she hopes people see and feel what she is feeling when they look at her paintings.
A commissioned piece for ANZSOG's Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference 2019.
About the artwork, in Emma's own words:
"ANZSOG’s Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference is about looking to the future of Indigenous affairs while ensuring we learn from the lessons of the past.
I had this in mind when creating ‘Journey’ - the painting is a representation of where we have been and where we are going.
You will see bright colours of red and yellow in the rivers, with continuous lines to represent the rivers which surround the area where the conference is held.
The footsteps in the top left corner represent the role of ANZSOG in providing leadership, support and guidance to those working in the public sector.
The brown areas with the yellow hills represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the dots in the middle of the circles represent their skin colour and the red represents the earth, while the green area with the hills and grey circles represent Māori -the First Peoples of New Zealand.
The hills signify the importance of land and country and the importance of connection.
I think there is great value in communities coming together and networking, and I’ve illustrated this with grey circles, which also represent relationships that form and are constantly growing.
The blue round shapes connecting with the lines represent the support and leadership that ANZSOG provide to the public sector. The dots within those circles represent the connection that people have across the various agencies, universities and sectors in Australia and New Zealand.
The red circles connected by lines flowing through the middle of the painting represent the significant events over the past 50 years in public administration of Indigenous affairs since the 1967 referendum. It is also representing moving and looking forward to the next 50 years.
All the elements in this painting represent coming together, journey and connection. I believe these are elements which are representative of ANZSOG’s mission to support and provide leadership to the public sector and provide effective outcomes for our community, as well as the overall goal of the Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference."
Contact Emma via her Facebook page.