Siena Catholic Primary School, Sippy Downs, has unveiled a huge artwork by award-winning Aboriginal artist Jandamarra Cadd at a special liturgy to celebrate National Reconciliation Week.
Commissioned late last year, the project involved the school’s 628 students working with Jandamarra to create a 12m rainbow serpent mural which acknowledges and values the traditional ownership and care for the land where the students learn, work and play.
Siena Principal Glen Bucklar said under the guidance of Jandamarra, every student and staff member in the school contributed to the completion of the massive mural.
Mr Bucklar said the artwork, depicting The Rainbow Serpent who created all mountains and oceans and abundance for all life to exist on earth, illustrated the movement of the snake as if on a continuous and endless journey of connection through the land and people.
He said everyone’s contribution to the artwork symbolised a promise.
“A promise that we will continue to honour, acknowledge, and respect the Kabi Kabi people as the traditional custodians of this land, and seek to care for this country as they have for more than 60,000 years,” he said.
“Each of us has a role to play and we recognise that our many small contributions and commitments make a difference, just as many small contributions have created this stunning and impressive piece of art.”
Mr Bucklar said Jandamarra spoke with every class to talk through the artwork.
“Through visual arts and indigenous symbols, we portrayed elements of animals like crows and kangaroos who regularly share our school grounds, life-giving elements like rain and fire, which helps us manage the land and brings us together through story-telling, memories and dance, and a rainbow symbolising hope and promise,” he said.
He said the school community was represented as a gathering place with a yarning circle, where adults and children can be seen sitting together to symbolise the learning environment.
“It also shows adults sitting with adults to symbolise the collaborative nature of our work, and the sharing of knowledge and authentic learning for future generations.”
Later this year, the school will release its Reconciliation Action Plan, which is currently being developed.