‘Angwirri’, meaning ‘begin to talk’, is the name of a sensational piece of Indigenous art that greeted the dawn on the sails of the Sydney Opera House today.
Local artist Frances Belle Parker, a proud Yaegl woman, said that the colours are inspired by the vast array of colours present in the Australian landscape and coastline. ‘The brown linear design symbolises a mapping of country/coastline.
‘The circle markings depict the 250 plus Aboriginal Language groups present in Australia and the linear marks represent the 200 nationalities that call Australia home.’
Ms Belle Parker said by creating this work, she gave herself the opportunity to help tell a story. ‘It not only represents who we are as a nation but it also gives people a wider understanding of Aboriginal Culture and how valuable it really is to our identity as a nation.’
Two flags raised together over Sydney Harbour
For the first time on Australia Day, the Sydney Opera House sails were lit up at dawn with Indigenous art in recognition of Australia’s First Nations people. Shortly after first light, the Aboriginal flag was raised alongside the Australian flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
These two significant dawn moments set the tone for Australia Day 2021 across NSW with a focus on reflecting and respecting all that makes our country so special.
Ms Belle Parker, a mother and artist from Maclean, said she is proud to have designed the projection to represent the oldest living culture in the world.
‘Our sense of belonging to the land is something that is intrinsically embedded into our being, and as First Nations people we are responsible for sharing the truth of our history.’
A time for inclusion, understanding and reconciliation
Yvonne Weldon, Chair of Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council said it’s a time for inclusion and the opportunity for greater understanding and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. A time to draw on the strength and resilience of our First People.
‘The raising of the Aboriginal Flag at the outset of Australia Day symbolises a deep respect for Aboriginal people and culture within New South Wales – in the first State, at first light we recognise our First Nations,’ said Ms Weldon.
‘It is an important moment to remember that Australia’s First Nation’s people are the foundation of our nation’s story. It is important to acknowledge and honour the sacrifices and we thank the ancestors for their custodianship for thousands of generations.’