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We are excited to announce the winner and runner up for our Indigenous Artwork Competition. It was so hard to decide so we have chosen two artworks! One being a chosen representative design for the RYSS RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan) and the other is highly commended for reconciliation messaging. Congratulations to our winners.


Allirra's artwork will be the design to represent RYSS' Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and future Indigenous branding.

Allirra is a proud young Wadi Wadi woman from the Yuin nation in Jervis Bay. She has been painting since she was 10 years old and Aboriginal art is one of Allirra's passions. She hopes to continue creating Art as a career alongside her other passion, the bush and its wildlife. Allirra completed her HSC last year and is currently studying Conservation and Land Management (bush care) at TAFE and hopes to work with National Parks and Wildlife one day in the future. In her spare time she likes to paint and is actively involved in bush regeneration programs. You can check out Allirra's work on Facebook by clicking HERE

The following description is in the artists 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.

"It means change for the future."


Olivia's artwork is highly commended for reconciliation messaging

Olivia is a proud young Kamilaroi woman has only discovered her Aboriginal heritage in recent years as her family is from the stolen generation. She has only been creating art for two years since a back injury forced her to take time out from the many, many sports she plays.

Olivia, is currently studying her HSC and is a high achiever in all areas of school life. She actively participates in the AIME Program - Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, which is a program developed to foster and nurture Indigenous young people with leadership and achievement. Olivia created her design 'Foundations of our Future' digitally and put a lot of thought and meaning to represent RYSS a the work we do in the Central Coast community.

RYSS has purchased this artwork so It can be hung in our service as a representation of what we strive for as an organisation in our act of reconciliation.

You can check out Olivia's work on Instagram by clicking HERE

Foundations of our Future

The following description is in the artists own words.

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.

''In turn, as they walk through life, they may feel more supported and connected and in turn they can support and connect with others.''

The response and standard of work was overwhelming and RYSS will continue to celebrate these young Artists by exhibiting Allirra and Olivia's original works at our service and all finalists on display here on the RYSS website and select locations.


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