NAIDOC Week at headspace Knox

• mind • body • spirit • culture • country •

This week, we launched the headspace Knox Acknowledgment of Country Plaque and bespoke artwork as part of NAIDOC Week (2-9 July) 

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The 2017 theme this year is  - Our Languages Matter - aims to emphasize and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to invite a local Aboriginal Elder to unveil our plaque and guide us in celebrating and acknowledging the importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that is the focus of national celebrations marking NAIDOC Week 2017. Today we had a special #NAIDOCWeek Morning Tea where we did our unveiling to pay respect to the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians.

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We had the honor of having Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin unveil it for us and guide some headspace, EACH and Knox Youth Services staff in a beautiful ceremony and The Youth Action Force led an activity creating a canvas to commemorate the day. Thank you to the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation Cultural Heritage Council Inc. for being part of our NAIDOC Celebrations. We are excited to have our plaque hanging in our Centre for young people to see.

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The headspace Story • mind • body • spirit • culture • country is artwork that's been created by artist Riki Salam of We Are 27 Creative after consultation with key members of the headspace network and cultural advisors.
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The Artwork Story
We are connected, red desert sands bring winds of change, Kookaburra calls in a brand new day, and sunlight breaks through, igniting passions.
Pathways lead back to Country we are complete, rhythmic sounds guide us through.
Fire transforms, seed cracks, bottlebrush blossoms we are renewed, Culture is strong.
Mountains form, rivers flow to turquoise seas, freshwater - saltwater. Earth is renewed seasons complete, our knowledge is shared wisdom is imparted. This is our place to grow, we are strong and we are connected.
Beginning at the centre of the artwork the ‘U’ shaped symbols represent two people seated talking, discussing, yarning. Surrounding them are dots that represent their lives and issues that they are dealing with both good and bad.
Larger dots lead along a clear pathway with lines radiating outward representing hope, woven lines strengthen bonds. The surrounding concentric circles represent each State and Territory where headspace are present, supporting young people to live better lives. The circles are connected, knowledge is shared wisdom is imparted, minds are strong, Country is strong when people are strong and connected to Culture. These elements together form a map of the Human brain and also a map of Country and Culture.
When your mind is Strong and your Country and Culture is strong, Cultural pathways radiate outwards and lead to and from the central motif, (Human brain) back to Country and back to Culture that renews and strengthens us.