The Story Behind ‘The Footprint’ – Indigenous Artworks Play Prominent Role at BRHS

The BRHS Footprint by Zion Bradley Brown. Photo: Jake Lynch/BRHS

 

Works of art by Gunaikurnai artists feature prominently at BRHS, as one of the number of ways we acknowledge and celebrate the Gunaikurnai people, who are the traditional owners of the land on which the health service is located.

One work with great significance for us is the BRHS Footprint, by Gunaikurnai artist Zion Bradley Brown.

You can see a framed print of the Footprint near the top of the stairs leading to the Rotamah Ward, and it is often reprinted and used in special occasions (like NAIDOC Week) around the hospital.

In the artists’ own words:

“The Footprint represents the land and Aboriginal people coming to the hospital, feeling comfortable and welcomed. The health service is wanting to help close the gap.

The toes are sky, clouds and rain.

Within the foot are two large circles representing watering holes with the local Gunaikurnai totems, the male (blue) and female (brown) wrens.

Water runs froms the watering holes in the river to a central symbol which is the meeting place.

A sitting down place to talk about health and get check-ups with the hospital man represented on the side of the meeting place.

The meeting place has a cross which signifies faith and healing.”

NAIDOC Week is a terrific time to celebrate the culture, traditions and achievements of the Gunaikurnai community, and Indigenous people across Australia.

Learn more about NAIDOC Week and find a local event near you at www.naidoc.org.au