Main Image: Tom explains the significance of his artwork to GSSC students
An Aboriginal artwork commissioned by the Victorian Parliament in support of reconciliation is providing a unique learning opportunity for students of Greater Shepparton Secondary College.
“We have asked accomplished Aboriginal artist Tom Day to undertake this commission as part of our commitment to reconciliation with Victoria’s First Peoples,” Legislative Assembly Speaker Colin Brooks said. “An exciting part of this commission is that Tom is involving students in Shepparton in the project, engaging them with the story of his art and culture.”
Tom Day is a Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta and Wemba Wemba artist who lives in Shepparton.
“Capturing the essence of country is everything to me,” Tom said. “Having lived my life on country, I have a greater understanding of it. The interaction of countless generations, leaving their mark on it, dancing on it, singing on it, hunting on it, living with it, the story it tells is our story. From the whistling winds singing its ancient song to the fire that comes, from which all life regenerates, it has a soul that is intertwined with ours.”
Tom is producing the work in a space gratefully provided by GSSC’s Mooroopna campus where he will work with staff and students to explain his design process. A highly regarded artist, he has developed, among other things, the artwork and logo for the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria website, for the Hawthorn Football Club’s Reconciliation Action Plan and for the guernsey worn by Essendon AFL players during the Indigenous Round in 2014.
With the easing of restrictions Tom will be explaining his artistic journey to students now that they have returned to on-site learning. Students will also be documenting his progress on the painting and other work he is undertaking in his GSSC studio.
Left: Tom's linear style takes a steady hand!
Working on the Reconciliation painting for Parliament