Giinagay, Ginagay and Jinggiwahla – words of greeting from the Traditional Owners of the Clarence Valley, the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl Nations.
This NAIDOC Week, Clarence Valley Council unveiled the Three Mobs, One River artwork, a visual representation of these three Nations.
Acting General Manager Laura Black says Clarence Valley Council’s inclusion of representation from the First Nations people within the corporate brand is one of respect and acknowledgement.
“We have committed to ensuring due diligence, cultural significance and presence as our way of moving forward collectively with the First Nations communities of the Clarence,” she says.
“Thursday 19 May 2016 was a day of shame for our organisation. It was the day a culturally significant scar tree was removed from a street in Grafton. It was a day of heartbreak for our First Nations people, especially the Gumbaynggirr community.
“At the time, we acknowledged the damage done, expressed extreme remorse, and apologised to the Traditional Owners. We also committed to strengthening relationships with the First Nations People of the Clarence Valley.”
The corporate Aboriginal art design is just one manifestation of this commitment.
First Nations artists Frances Belle Parker, Uncle Joe Walker and Deborah Taylor were selected to work collaboratively to create a design for us that reflects the rich Yaegl, Bundjalung, and Gumbaynggirr cultural heritage.
The design features totems from each Nation and blended stories of common themes like meeting places, journeys, nature, landscape, and how Biirrinba, the Clarence River, connects us all.
“Whilst we’re not an Aboriginal organisation, we’re keen to show respect and strive towards achieving reconciliation within the workplace,” Ms Black says.
“The Three Mobs, One River artwork is a valuable tool in our branding suite. The proud and distinct cultures of the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl communities are visible and respected as a cultural presence within our brand.”
“This project has been a cultural journey for Clarence Valley Council, one that leaves an indelible and lasting imprint embedded in our identity. We’ve taken a lead on this and encourage others to take these steps too.”
The Three Mobs, One River artwork and elements of the design will be used in the branding of Clarence Valley Council uniforms, signage and other assets.