Symbols of community, belonging and reconciliation are now flying high on banners across Randwick City thanks to the creative talent of local Aboriginal artist Jordan Ardler and the heart-warming drawings of local students.

Inspired by this year’s Reconciliation Week theme, Be a Voice for Generations, Randwick Council asked students at La Perouse Public School to help illustrate the artwork for Koojay Corroboree 2023, which will take place on Friday 26 May at 11am.

“Randwick Council is really proud to have local students help create the artwork. We look forward to engaging other school students to help in the years to come,” shared Mayor Dylan Parker.

“Reconciliation Week is very important for our whole community. It’s about all of us making sure that we recognise, pay our respects and reconcile with the First Nations community.”

Beaming with pride, Zali, Elsy, Jacob and Jimmy held up their artworks during the morning assembly. Together, they shared the story behind their colourful drawings, which they created in Aunty Selina Brown’s classroom.

“I traced my hand, and I drew my family inside it. It shows that we all belong as a family and we all are a part of a community.”

“Aunty Selina told me that Reconciliation Week is a special time. When I look at myself on the flag, I feel proud of my family for looking after me.”

“I drew me and my family and the Aboriginal flag because we’re all part of the same La Pa family.”

Aboriginal artist Jordan Ardler was the creative force behind the artwork’s final composition. After tracing the students’ drawings in black and white, she incorporated them into one digital artwork, choosing to highlight imagery that told a story of walking together, including footprints, handprints, the Aboriginal flag, the world, multicultural people, and the powerful words ‘Be Kind. Be Proud.’

After listening to Aunty Selina speak about the classroom activity, she then looked inwards to choose how to colour the artwork.

This is a core part of her artistic practice, Ardler shared, “I call it the ‘unseen’. I do things you can’t see. So when Aunty Selina was telling me the stories, I’d bring out the emotion by relating it to a colour.”

“I added the vibrant hues of orange to tie the piece together, to really show the warmth that I saw when I looked at the kids’ drawings,” she said.

The banners, flags and posters promoting Koojay Corroboree 2023 can be seen along Anzac Parade, at Alison Rd, down at Coogee and Clovelly Beach and at various other locations around Randwick City.

For more details on this year’s event, visit Council’s website here.