It tells the story of how the ABS works with communities to see, hear and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and experiences in our national story.
The artwork celebrates our stories being seen and heard for the benefit of future generations. It embraces the cultural importance of storytelling and information sharing, entwined with a focus on working together for a strong future for children, family and community.
The use of colours and inclusion of country, land and sea, rivers and desert, reflects the diversity of our peoples and culture across the country.
The river of knowledge flows through the center of the piece, representing the two way flow of information, from and to community – a central stream of sharing and a sign of unity. Within the river of knowledge, are two yarning circles, representing both Aboriginal (with a sequence of dots coming together) and Torres Strait Islander communities (through the traditional star motif). The flowing river of knowledge also symbolises the importance of the old people to carry culture with strength into the future, their footsteps reflected on either side of the river.
The yarning circles in the river reflect the role communities play, engaging with data and sharing insights that enhance individual and family life, through health, education and employment outcomes. It shows a coming together through people, cultures and knowledge to develop relationships based on trust, capability, and support.
Across the top left of the image, blue and green reflects the land, sea and communities of the Torres Strait Islands. The stars allow us to navigate naturally and know the true path, while the moon tells us the different tides and time of the seasons. These elements signify our strength in culture, traditionally gathering for ceremonies, foklore and for celebration. Within this section the moons reflect Torres Strait communities sharing stories, trading goods, dancing and learning - key elements of Torres Strait culture and shared knowledge from one generation to the next.
Across the bottom right of the image, ochre represents the land and country of the many Aboriginal people who have walked before us and the long and continuing connection to country. The white lines represent the cooler climate where frost is frequent, the browns represent the river people, blues represent the saltwater people, and the green is for the mountains. The white inside the Aboriginal community yarning circles represent a cleansing smoke from ceremony, a commitment to journey forward together.
The artwork reflects the importance of people having their story seen and heard for the benefit of future generations.