NAIDOC Week tram a reminder to “Care for Country”
An Adelaide Metro tram dedicated to NAIDOC Week has commenced operating today, with beautiful artwork embodying the NAIDOC theme for 2021 Heal Country.
To mark and support NAIDOC Week (4 – 11 July), the Department for Infrastructure and Transport’s (DIT) Rail Care program has wrapped an Adelaide Metro tram in the artwork of the 2021 National NAIDOC Poster, titled Care for Country, as part of its Public Transport Inclusion initiative.
The tram wrap is to operate until Sunday, 1 August.
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across the country each July to acknowledge and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torrens Straight Islanders peoples. It is celebrated not only in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.
The 2021 National NAIDOC Week Poster was designed by Gubbi Gubbi artist Maggie-Jean Douglas, of Queensland, and draws on the different colours of landscapes around Australia to show how they come together in our beautiful country.
The poster artwork shows communities/people, animals and bush medicine spread over different landscapes of red dirt, green grass, bushland and coastal areas, to tell the story of the many ways country can and has healed First Nations people throughout their lives and journeys.
In recognition of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, DIT staff members have reflected on their own connection to their Country.
Ngarrindjeri and Arabuna woman Jade Wilson, who coordinates the department’s Aboriginal road safety and driver licencing program On the Right Track, was born and raised in Port Augusta. She has fond memories of travelling to both her Countries, including Berri where her grandfather lived and Oodnadatta and Marree where her father’s family is from.
“Arabuna Country is quite dry and has a lot of red dirt, with ochre colours coming through and the kangaroos, the snakes and the lizards, whereas Ngarrindjeri Country is all water and birds and that type of environment,” Jade said.
“So there are very different dynamics for my language groups.
“Some of these places in my Countries have wider significance to the Arabuna and Ngarrindjeri people, in particular when rains happen as it’s around replenishing the Country and all the animals come back, the kangaroos come back and the birds come back, to get food.
“These places mean a lot to me because it’s about replenishing my soul while I get back to Country, really connecting with my family and friends who are still living on Country, and getting back to basics away from city.”
Nauo woman Ashleigh Easthope, who also works in the On The Right Track program, reflected on her connection to Sheringa in the Eyre Peninsula.
“My favourite place on Country is Johnny’s Block at Sheringa, it was my great-great-great grandparents land,” Ashleigh said.
“My favourite thing about Johnny’s Block is being able to see where my ancestors grew up – where they lived and where they worked.
“It was amazing to see the Mulberry tree there. As soon as I arrived, I felt at home and I felt very peaceful and I was very happy to see where my great-great-great grandmother had worked on birthing all the children there for the community.”
For assistance getting to NAIDOC Week events around the metropolitan area, visit www.adelaidemetro.com.au to plan your journey.