Updated: Jun 17
✦ TG's Educators are proud to wear Australia's national heritage
Jamie’s day job is a Consultant to the Department of Education, where he visits about 43 Public Schools, doing correlations and data collections, working on attendance and getting kids back to school.
Outside of work, his art provides him with an opportunity to connect with his culture and share it with his local community and the organisations that he works with. His art is his passion.
Officially conducting the handover of the shirts to staff at the TG's Child Care Hastings Street Early Learning Centre, Jamie told us he was delighted to have been involved. He has a long relationship with the TG’s family and his children have passed through multiple centres in Wauchope over the years.
Originally approached by a group of TG’s Educators to design a new uniform for the centres representing culture in the local community, he wanted to keep his association with TG’s going and thought this was a great thing to do.
It's not the first time Jamie has shared his creativity with TG's. He also painted the beautiful aboriginal murals at TG's Hastings St, Wauchope. He included the traditional Gathang language (from the Birpai, Warrimay and Guringay people), totems from the region as well as images drawn from everyone's connection to the country on the murals.
A CUSTOM DESIGN WITH A CONNECTION TO CULTURE AND COMMUNITY
"The design process started by talking with the TG’s Educators to create the custom design of the shirt, to find out what they wanted their shirts to represent. I then take that information and try and weave that into my design story. For TG’s the design is about their connection with culture and their connection with their local community," says Jamie.
Depicting the cultural elements of the local Birpai Nation, represented by their seven totems, which are encapsulated in a vision through country. There is also the river system that runs through the design and water animals that are in the system.
Colours are used to make a representation of what portion of the country is being depicted in the design. For example, the blues and purples represent the water and the reds, oranges and greens represent the land. The design represents the three centres that TG’s have in the Wauchope community, their different journeys that the families that work or go to each of the centres travel and share with each other.
Overall, the design is a depiction of the whole country, it’s not just one part because all the totems connect us all across multiple regions within our area. Everyday that the TG’s Educators wear these shirts, they wear them with pride. They are proud to be part of this community, proud to be part of the TG’S family and their wider family. The educators understand why they are wearing it and what it means to be part of this community connection. The shirt represents building relationships in the community.
Jamie’s understanding of these relationships and knowledge of the local area is on show in the design. The shirts are a conversation starter, enabling an open dialogue with the whole community.
The shirts are also an education piece. Students have the opportunity to pick out which animals are displayed, a conversation can start around culture and the journey that they are on and enable the sharing of stories. Pathways are opened to start conversations with students via the shirt design.
Moving forward, Reconciliation Action Plans can be actioned, by engaging in those conversations and putting people's conversation into the minds of people just by wearing the shirt.
TG’s Child Care has been focusing on reconciliation at their centres, a Reconciliation Action Plan has been, even with COVID restrictions and the like over the past two years, in the background and in their activities. The plan is something that will be continued at all three centres, encouraging growth in the Reconciliation Journey.
All three TG’s Child Care Centres in Wauchope have made great progress. The process will continue with the collaboration with Jamie and his design, wearing the shirts are a step in the right direction, supporting local culture and community.