Inclusivity and improving lives are at the heart of IMPACT Community Services' three operating pillars: Live, Grow & Prosper.
To represent this vision, we reached out to Indigenous artist Dylan Sarra, who has created the powerful Together We Move artwork.
Currently living in Brisbane, Dylan is from the Bundaberg region and belongs to the Gooreng Gooreng people.
Aligning this piece with a contemporary Indigenous view, Dylan took inspiration from a little-known story about the Burnett River petroglyphs.
He says the petroglyphs were a large formation of sandstone (over 3sqm) that sat in an important part of the river and served as a meeting point.
"For thousands of years, our mobs passed through this place as a site of sharing and learning," Dylan says.
"It was a location for exchanges of cultural teaching that was essential for survival.
"Sadly in 1971-1972 the rocks were removed and scattered to various locations and repatriation is still continuing to this day.
"For this work I have taken some of the symbols and rearranged them in a context that still allows them to be honoured respectfully while holding meaning.”
In Together We Move, Dylan uses the location of the river in which the petroglyphs were carved to symbolise positive human interaction and safe sharing spaces. “The dots are used to signify movement and are prolifically carved into the sandstone petroglyphs,” Dylan says.
Place of Refuge
Arches represent windbreaks or shelter. “Potentially it speaks to a location in the surrounding landscape that was a place of refuge during a climate event,” Dylan says.
“I’ve included it as a poetic way of IMPACT’s ability to provide assistance during a time of one’s personal need.”
Stars are represented in many forms of carving with numerous stories attached.
"In its simplest form our original custodians used the stars as an important part of physical and spiritual journeys to navigate our continent," he says.
"In this case, I’ve taken into consideration how IMPACT offers assistance to help one through their own life’s journey."
The emu was a permanent fixture to the local landscape and an important part of storytelling, particularly to children and young men, Dylan says. He says the emu is also an important constellation in the Milky Way to navigate the changing of seasons.
"In this context though I have focused on how the emu is an animal that can only move forward," he said.
"This aligns with IMPACT's vision of helping many in life in moving forward to a brighter future."
The Together We Move artwork will be displayed at IMPACT's headquarters on Bargara Rd.
Gooreng Gooreng man and Traditional Owner Robert McLellan said, "a public art display like this breaths life into what were once thriving stories upon these lands and that are not otherwise made easily assessable today".
"Dylan’s representation of the Burnett River petroglyphs is authentic and intriguing, it promotes the culturally rich history that precedes Bundaberg’s colonial histories and is something all community members can take pride in," Mr McLellan, First Nations' Arts and Cultures Queensland Panel Member, said.
"The symbols not only reflect the sophistication upon these lands for thousands of generations, they also reflect our peoples wide-spread connection with our neighbours, together in humility.
"This message transcends the artwork and I believe is representative of the connection IMPACT shares with its members and the people of Bundaberg.”
IMPACT’s Managing Director Tanya O’Shea thanked Dylan for sharing his inspiring work.
“As an organisation we are on a journey to a greater understanding of what it means to be inclusive,” Mrs O’Shea says.
“We know there are lots of things at IMPACT we need to be doing better.
“It is important for us to be a safe and welcome environment to all.
“I hope people see Dylan’s artwork and it inspires them to think about the actions they can take to create a more inclusive community.”
IMPACT acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we live, work and meet and pay our respects to the Elders past, present and future for they hold the memories, traditions, the culture, hopes and values not only of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but for all Australians.