First Nations Art

The Royal Flying Doctor Service recognises and celebrates the histories, diversity, creativity, resourcefulness and endurance of the First Peoples of Australia – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. 

We acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art is the first art of this nation, an ancient visual gift of culture and learning. It communicates history, story, and language. 

We feel privileged to be able to engage with First Nations artists and enjoy and share the artwork they create.  

First Nation Painting for RFDS NSW/ACT

Trudy Sloane

This work is by artist Wiradjuri Woman, Trudy Sloane and depicts the Royal Flying Doctor Service with our aircraft depicted as circling birds that fly in and out of communities. 

The white lines show where we fly and the people we transfer, with the centre representing the RFDS hub.The reds and blues represent our RFDS brand; the browns, orange and charcoal are representative of the lands we work in and on.

The faint hand and footprints in the background represent those who have been here before us. The horseshoe shapes around the circles represent the people of the communities.

The snake-link figures represent the rivers, and the colours represent the landscape we live and work on.

First Nation Artwork for RFDS SA/NT

Kelly Taylor and T’keyah Ware

This artwork was created by mother and daughter Antakirinja/Yankunytjatjara/Kokatha artists in South Australia.

Titled 'Flight Journey Line' the storyline depicts the Flying Doctor’s ongoing presence in remote communities where crews provide emergency evacuations, primary health care, mental health care, oral health care and chronic disease management.

The artwork shows a blue line tracing an aircraft’s journey past waterholes, remote communities and towns along with showing tracks and trails of the RFDS’s past, present and future.

The footprints represent the RFDS specialist health care teams in different remote communities and towns, while blue dots represent the ocean and the earth colours represent the land.

First Nation Artwork for RFDS QLD

Wudarabin Snider

Inspired by her ancestors, wildlife and bush tucker, 15-year-old Wudarabin Snider from Cooktown has produced this artwork entitled "Our Ancestors, Our Connection".  

The artwork represents the land animals, ocean life, the rainforest, the artist's ancestors and bush food/berries from country Australia and the Torres Straits.  

The artist has used dots and lines as this is how her ancestors documented stories in the caves of Laura (the Laura Cave paintings were recently placed on the National Heritage Listing).

'This is how my ancestors documented our stories in Laura on the caves and how I find my way, through land and health", says Wudarabin Snider

Gypsy Raven Artwork for RFDS TAS

Gypsy Draven 

This painting was created for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Tasmania by Gypsy Draven, a Bundjalung woman originally from New South Wales.

The artwork storyline depicts the Royal Flying Doctor Service traveling across waters, mountains and country to help people in the need of medical assistance. It shows many journeys each year and the people we meet and help to heal. 

"They (the RFDS) show dedication and passion in the work they do for all communities.  They are truly the beautiful spirits of the skies and the lands", says Gypsy.  

Vera and Jason Dimer artwork for WA

Vera and Jason Dimer

This artwork was created by artists Vera and Jason Dimer in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia entitled "Thirta Pulka Yilkarri (Big Bird in the Sky)".  

The painting represents communities and their relationship to the RFDS and the plants on the land that are used to heal the Aboriginal people. 

Waterholes and creeks give life to the fauna and flora, including quandongs, berries, karlkulras, currant bush, witchetty grubs and honeyants. 

Luke and Siena Tieri for VIC

Luke and Siena Tieri

The artwork, titled “Mugu-Woka Yurrtha”, was designed and created by Bayadherra, which was founded by proud young Aboriginal Yorta Yorta brother and sister, Luke and Siena Tieri.

The artwork depicts the connection between the Flying Doctor and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Victoria.

It signifies the commitment, engagement and relationship of RFDS with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide safe, culturally appropriate access to health care services and programs. 

“Mugu-Woka Yurrtha” will be used across RFDS Victoria in a number of different applications to demonstrate our commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the state.s

The RFDS works in and serves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around Australia, and we pay our deep respects to the world's oldest living culture.

Trudy Sloane

Kelly Taylor and T’keyah Ware


              Wudarabin Snider

Wudarabin Snider

              Gypsy Draven

Gypsy Draven

Luke and Siena Tieri

Luke and Siena Tieri