May 26 2024

OzHelp’s Story depicted through indigenous art

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Emma (Nganyintja) Stubbs, a talented artist assisted in helping us tell our story through three beautiful indigenous art works.

More of Emma’s artwork can be viewed here.

Emma explains the meaning behind the concepts captured in the collection.

“The large hands that are holding the first two circles are spiritual/higher beings holding David O’Bryan (first circle) and the three others who also took their lives. These hands signify that they are no longer with us and are being ‘held’ or looked after by the spiritual/higher beings.

First Circle

The big U shape in the middle represents David O’Bryan then the circle around the U shape represents the loneliness of living with mental health issues.

Second Circle

The three small circles in the centre with the U shapes are the three others and just like the first circle the smaller circle around the U shapes represents the loneliness of living with mental health issues.

First and Second Circle

The U shapes around the outer circle represent the families and organisations that were around at the time of their deaths but they couldn’t do anything to help them for whatever reason.

Third Circle

The two big U shapes with a digging stick and a Coolamon (mothers on a journey), one is David’s mother Loraine O’Bryan and the other represents the mothers of the other three. This circle represents a mothers love to want to get help for people like David. On the outer of the bigger circle, the smaller U shapes are the MBA ACT and CFMEU who all want to take action to address wellbeing and care of industry apprentices.

Fourth Circle

Like the Third Circle this shows Loraine as the U shape with a digging stick and a Coolamon with the MBA ACT, CFMEU and the ACT Government as the smaller U shapes and Circles all working together which has now formed OzHelp.

The three yellow highlighted circles and U shapes represent OzHelp, Health in Gear and Health in Trades.

Feet and Hands (smaller ones)

These represent those who are still living with mental health issues and walking the journey of life with support from OzHelp.

Streams/waterbeds/river system/roads

These represent that all things are connected in a spiritual way and a physical way, from the death of these four people, a journey began and this journey was sad but it has created hope for others

The U shape

When we sit down on the sand our bottom and legs leave and imprint of a U so we Aboriginal people use this shape to depict people.”