The RFDS in VIC
First Nations Art
In active support of the national RFDS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), RFDS Victoria commissioned an original Aboriginal artwork for exclusive use within our organisation.
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. Their business is 100% Aboriginal owned and operated, and is a registered member of Supply Nation Australia and Kinaway Chamber of Commerce Victoria.
In our original brief to Bayadherra, we stated that we wanted the piece to represent the connection between the Flying Doctor and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Victoria. Our hope was that the piece could visually demonstrate our commitment to working together with Victoria's Aboriginal communities to improve access to health care, wellbeing support and social connection.
From this brief, Bayadherra created “Mugu-Woka Yurrtha” (pronounced “moo-ga-woka-yurr-atha"), which means “Path by Land and Sky”. By way of explaining their artistic choices, Luke and Siena shared the below:
"The large yarning circle depicts RFDS, with additional yarning circles depicting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. These yarning circles symbolise a meeting place to gather and share stories, developing and strengthening respectful relationships. Blue and red travelling pathways link all yarning circles together and depict the journey of RFDS as they travel across the country to engage with communities. Blue and red also surround each community campfire, symbolising RFDS’s cultural engagement and commitment to providing holistic, quality health care. These travelling pathways extend to the furthest corner and continue off the artwork, representing the ongoing responsibility to providing the finest care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the state, further embedding RFDS’s commitment to Reconciliation and closing the gap.
"The red circles depict outreach clinics providing equal access to health care services, contributing to the improvement of health outcomes. Green represents the spiritual connection between community and country, enhancing the importance of custodianship and acknowledging traditional lands. Holistically, “Mugu-Woka Yurrtha” 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."
This artwork exceeded our greatest expectations, and we are deeply humbled by the thought and consideration Luke and Siena gave to our brief. “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.
You can find out more about Bayadherra here.
RFDS Victoria is proud to support local Aboriginal artists, and committed to strengthening our relationship with Aboriginal groups, communities and leaders to better enhance the health care system for all Victorians.