Swinburne Bachelor of Animation student and Kuku Kulunggur artist Isabeau Colls has won the annual NAIDOC Week design contest, run by the Moondani Toombadool Centre’s Indigenous Student Services team.
Supported by Student Life, three Indigenous students were selected as finalists for the competition and featured on Swinburne’s Instagram account throughout NAIDOC Week. Colls’ design was named the winner after hundreds of votes were tallied from Swinburne staff, students and community members.
Colls won a $250 cash prize and tote bags and shirts featuring her design will be available to purchase from the Razor Shop.
In 2020, the competition was won by Bachelor of Education (Secondary) student and Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist, Katie Bugden, who also donated her time and talent to create the designs for bespoke Indigenous face masks which supported Swinburne Indigenous Bursaries.
Check out the 2021 winner and finalists below.
Winner - Isabeau Colls
‘I'm a Swinburne animation student wanting to fulfil my dreams of making my love for art out as a career.
‘Art is very important to me as it is my strongest outlet for my mental health. We all handle our own struggles in many ways and I choose to let myself go through my art.
Artwork by Isabeau Colls
‘For the theme “Heal Country”, I wanted to explore how Australia as a modern society continues to fail in conserving our land. From ignoring the climate crisis to the destruction of sacred indigenous sites, our fate has been at the hands of our oppressors. The only way we will be able to heal our beautiful country is by uniting and making active change to better our parliament.
‘My design visualises our impact on Australia, and how our leaders refuse to heal the country, for their own profit. Whether you see the hands in the background as a positive influence or negative influence is your choice. If we can bring our hands together and unite for the justice for our people, we will be able to heal country.’
Finalist - Emily Gittens
‘I'm Gumbaynggirr/Barkindji and I’m studying a double degree of Business and Design.
Artwork by Emilly Gittens
‘I wanted the artwork to connect all mobs and our connection to our country - that being our land, culture, communities and countless other matters.
I've incorporated imaging which is universal to all of the above while using the snake as a symbol that connects them all and connects all of us.’
Finalist - Jack Dorgan
‘I am an Indigenous Australian born and raised in Echuca my whole life. I am a part of Wemba-Wemba on my father's side.
‘I only started creating artwork during 2020 to help give myself something focus on outside of the stress of year 12 and the pandemic.
Artwork by Jack Dorgan
‘The t-shirt design is an artwork named “Elder”. I chose to focus on the idea of Elder in the artwork due to the roles elders have in the community, passing down the knowledge of our heritage of how the country used to work. By elders passing this knowledge down to the younger generation we are able to begin heal the country by understanding our role in it.
‘The tote bag design is an artwork named “Country”. It represents the current state of the country and how decayed it is. The other aspects show the state of the people of the country being disconnected from one another due to the suffering of the country itself and how without healing both the people and the country the damage and decay will never truly go away.’
Pre-order tote bags and T-shirts with the winning design at the Razor Shop.