A large tractor has been transformed into a work of Aboriginal art to celebrate NAIDOC Week through a partnership with Greensill Farming and two emerging indigenous artists.
The artwork was created by Brooke and Jesse Sutton, Indigenous artists from the Kalkadoon people (Mount Isa, Queensland), who now live in the Bundaberg Region.
The duo said their piece was called “Yaunati”, which meant “Grow Big” in the Kalkadoon language, and depicted the link between the land, the coast, and the turtles that the Bundaberg Region is well known for.
“I am so proud to have my artwork displayed on a tractor for NAIDOC Week,” Jesse said.
“It is a beautiful painting that tells a beautiful story, and I am so happy that so many people will get to see our artwork.”
Brooke added it was an honour to have their art selected to be put on the tractor for this year’s NAIDOC Week.
“It is so good to see so many businesses now supporting Indigenous culture and reconciliation,” she said.
NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for everybody to celebrate the history, cultural contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to seek greater protections for lands, waters, sacred sites and the cultural heritage of Australia.
Managing Director Peter Greensill said Greensill Farming was committed to connecting with country and looking after the land that they farm.
“We are intensely aware of how we need to respect the earth and natural resources when we are producing food for the people of Australia,” he said.
“Like the traditional owners of the land, restoring the earth and taking steps toward respect and reconciliation are of the utmost importance to Greensill Farming.”
NAIDOC Week tractor art tells an important story
Jesse and Brook said the tractor artwork was their interpretation of “Yaunati”.
“When the endangered loggerhead mother turtle returns to lay her eggs, she is very lucky indeed for she is the only one in a thousand of her friends and family that have survived and made it to adulthood, which is 30 years old,” they said.
“From the time the turtles are hatched they face a world of danger on land and in the sea from foxes, birds, sharks, and fishing nets to name a few.
“A mother turtle always returns to the place of her birth to lay her eggs which is why these special places need to be looked after for years to come.
In the painting the small turtles are plentiful as they emerge and start their new lives, as they enter the ocean and the years go by their numbers drop rapidly until only one turtle returns to start her family.
“The spirit trails link all the turtles together as without all of them none would survive to Yaunati.
“The turtle is a special animal that needs our protection and understanding.”