We are overwhelmed by the amazing standard of work we have received as an expression of interest for our Indigenous Artwork Competition. We're sure you'll agree it's gong to be hard decision for our committee to choose an artwork that is the best fit for RYSS and our new Indigenous Branding. Thank you to all those who entered and congratulations to our finalists!

Congratulations to Finalist

Kyle Waters

The following description is in the artists own words.

The meaning behind the artwork is showing Gunni Thakun (Mother Earth) giving birth to all living things on Australia, the artwork shows how important our women are to our culture and how they must be respected and treated at all times, the Designs inside the woman show all the different lores and stories, but all showing the same value. The inside of her body is filled with red, white and yellow ochre to show how special she is as a women, also the different colours in her legs represent how she made the country people and the salt water people.
The designs around the woman is the stories of her creating the lore for all the different country’s around the Australia.The meaning behind the artwork is showing gunni thakun(Mother Earth) giving birth to all living things on Australia, the artwork shows how important our women are to our culture and how they must be respected and treated at all times, the Designs inside the woman show all the different lores and stories, but all showing the same value. The inside of her body is filled with red, white and yellow ochre to show how special she is as a women, also the different colours in her legs represent how she made the country people and the salt water people. The designs around the woman is the stories of her creating the lore for all the different country’s around the Australia.

Congratulations to Finalist

Olivia Anderson

The following description is in the artist own words.
Foundations for our Future
RYSS works tirelessly to provide support and opportunities to the youth of the Central Coast to help young people and families find connections within the community, to build independence and to learn skills for the future.This painting represents the power and strength gained from forming connections through reconciliation and working together towards a better future. To me, life is dynamic and always evolving. To succeed, one must overcome challenges and find ways to gain strength and skills from these experiences.
RYSS is there to provide support and connections to achieve this.This artwork depicts the struggle people face throughout their life. The centre of the artwork portrays family and the individual. The 4 pathways illustrate life’s journey, with the feet continually walking through life, experiencing positive and negative influences.The outside of the artwork depicts the negative pressures of life, squeezing in on the individual’s journey.

RYSS is depicted by the ‘lightening’ strikes, connecting and supporting individuals and families and keeping the negative pressure of life at bay. I chose orange as the main colour of this artwork; the colour of RYSS.I would like to think that relationships and support structures provided by RYSS provide an opportunity for individuals to expand the positive section of their life; the middle of the artwork. In turn, as they walk through life, they may feel more supported and connected and in turn they can support and connect with others.

Congratulations to Finalist

Bianca Meiklejohn

The following description is in the artist own words.
This artwork represents growth. We cross many paths that make us who we are today, we grow when we face challenges, keep going find strength through life’s obstacles.


Congratulations to Finalist

Kaitlynn Cassidy

The following description is in the artist own words.
My artwork depicts representation of moving forward, together, as a united community and uses both symbols and colours that personally express myself as a young Indigenous woman in the LGBTQ+ community. It also states the importance of recognising and respecting the past, building on the present and working towards a brighter future.

Congratulations to Finalist

Lakarah McGee

The following description is in the artist own words.

My artwork articulates a cultural representation of the future, growth, reconciliation & youth.

The child’s hand represents youth,
The tree represents growth,
The footprints represent stepping towards the future,
The different coloured yarning circles represent the communities of all the groups, nationalities, backgrounds,
cultures ect.. of the people working together to support one another.

The tree is growth in the palm of the child/youth’s hand, the footprints stepping inward shows the youth as our future, the yarning circles intertwined & connected to & around the hand also represents the reconciliation of all the groups of people working together to support our futures & the future of our youth helping them stay connected & grow stronger within these strong communities as one.

The connection of the intertwined groups of people (coloured yarning circles) watering the youth (palm)
towards growth (tree).


Congratulations to Finalist

Allirra Moore

The following description is in the artist own words.

This artwork represents themes of growth, reconciliation, the future and youth. The bottom of this artwork has lines representing the history of Aboriginal art and how it has changed from traditional line work designs to dot art.

Above the line work I have painted root systems which stem down from the crosshatched section. The root systems symbolises the deep connection and rich history our people have with the land as we have cared for it for thousands of years. The past of Aboriginal culture is present with in the new generation, our youth. The cross hatching is a common indigenous symbol I use in my art as it represents country.

The Aboriginal youth on the central coast typically come from other tribes all over NSW and other states. This Is to show that no matter where we come from, we carry our cultural values with us as we grow on Darkinjung land. The water holes above represent our local sites on The Coast. Connecting to the water holes is a black line which has a symbol in the centre of it meaning journey or path.

As Indigenous youth we all have different paths or journeys that we follow. Just like our ancestors we follow in their footsteps by learning culture and passing it on to the next generation. Connecting to our culture can help us educate non-indigenous people in the community and move towards achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The white and yellow dotted lines above the water holes means growth of the Aboriginal community and young people with in to become resilient and be empowered for change. Culture is a lifeline for our people and in order for Australia to move forward with their Indigenous people, acknowledgement and change to past and present injustices need to be made. It means change for the future.

These Artworks were chosen because they all represent growth, reconciliation, the future and youth. 

Congratulations to all our finalists!