Artist: Jodie Stewart
Painting: “On Country – Where the mountains meet the sea”
The painting represents the mountains meeting the sea and the local Aboriginal totems in our regions. The four circles represent the community connection between Wollongong, Shoalhaven, Shellharbour and Kiama. Communities who gather to celebrate the NAIDOC Awards to recognise and showcase our Koori talent and culture.
The middle white plain circle represents the meeting place of the NAIDOC awards where we all gather to celebrate together.
The whale is the Aboriginal totem “Birri Birri” that is the totem for the three councils of Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong, and the black cockatoo is the totem for the Shoalhaven (the Black Cockatoo means“camping” or “Nowra”).
The colours represent the Wodi Wodi people of the Dharawal Nation as we are Saltwater People living on the East Coast and these colours represent the ocean where we gather our food to this day.
Aunty Jodie Stewart was recognised as Aboriginal Elder of the Year (Female) in the NAIDOC Awards for 2022.
Aunty Jodie is a descendant of the Wodi Wodi people of the Dharawal Nation, a Saltwater Woman, growing up on the coast with her family, the well respected and well-known Stewart family.
Jodie has been recognised for her role at Southern Youth and Family Services in Shoalhaven, supporting families and young people. She is also a board member and Director of the Gerringong Housing Aboriginal Corporation.
A talented artist, Jodie has had her works displayed in Wollongong, Kiama, the Shoalhaven and overseas. She is the first Aboriginal female artist to be contracted to design the St George Illawarra Dragons rugby league jerseys.