White horizontal wording of Yirra Miya First Nations Creative Agency with an icon logo on the left.
Illustration

University of Wollongong

2021

Connect & Discover

The University of Wollongong is about uncovering your passions and using them to make an impact – it’s a university that is big enough to matter, but small enough to care, supporting students on their journey and helping them find their purpose to chase their dream careers. Each year for orientation, UOW hosts an abundance of events to help engage new alumni and answer all of those big questions of what do I do next on my journey as a student. This year UOW wanted to shake it up and created “It’s Go Time” – which was a week by week schedule of events and themes, giving students everything they need to make their time at university the best it can be. UOW engaged with Yirra Miya as they knew that Lauren was an alumni and had connections to Dharawal Country where the main campus is based. UOW were looking for an artwork with cultural elements that they could utilise across their new programs and events to help engage and create a safe space for First Nations alumni while also sharing cultural knowledge with alumni from other walks of life.

A dark blue horizontal banner image of multiple U shapes.

Gather & Create

Artwork Story

An office space with an Aboriginal artwork on the wall or UOW
A group of 3 orange and yellow organic shaped circles inside one another.

This artwork is called Journeys. This artwork represents the journeys that each individual takes during their time at the University of Wollongong. This artwork represents a connection to country, as well as belonging to community.

On the left side of the artwork are a representation of the University of Wollongong Campuses along the East Coast of New South Wales. Each campus is represented by a yarning circle, where people can come together to learn and prepare for their post-study life. These yarning circles also represent the sharing of memories and special occasions. This artwork acknowledges the land that the University of Wollongong Campuses stand, spanning from the Yuin Nation, Dharawal Land, Dharug Land, Gadigal Land and Gundungurra Land. These campuses are connected to represent the sharing of knowledge, experiences and memories shared between students and staff.

Moving across the artwork from the coastline are kangaroo tracks, these tracks represent adventure and the continuing of moving forward as kangaroos cannot move backwards. Next to these tracks are smaller community circles with gatherings of people, representing the strong connections and friendships that will be made while at the University of Wollongong.

On the right side of the artwork is a large community circle, this represents the importance of community and the journey of each student. This represents a support network for each student and is a reminder of the importance of building connections with those around you. Moving through this yarning circle, is the river of knowledge. In the river of knowledge, there are a collection of symbols to represent community, connection to country, watering holes to represent cleansing for the next journey and stars to represent the guidance from our ancestors.

This artwork reminds us to take a moment to reflect, connect to country and to remember that this land Always Was and Always Will Be Aboriginal Land.

Element Meanings

The elements seen throughout the artwork hold symbolic meanings reflected throughout.

Coloured Aboriginal icon for UOW

Yarning Circle

Representation of community coming
together to learn and share experiences.

Coloured Aboriginal icon for UOW

Community Circle

Representation of belonging at University of Wollongong

Coloured Aboriginal icon for UOW

Star

Representation of the dreaming and guidance from our ancestors.

Coloured Aboriginal icon for UOW

Campsite

Representation of people coming together to prepare for a journey and celebrate achievements.

Coloured Aboriginal icon for UOW

Connection of People

Representation of people from different life experiences, sharing and empowering each other.

We created a branded colour palette variation of the elements to be utilised for their Go Time ! campaign just bold pop and fluro colours 😊 that UOW also used to feature throughout a journey path and across their socials reflected

Share & Embrace

Lauren describes working with UoW as a ‘pinch me’ moment! Having studied and navigated life at UoW and understanding the feeling of being a little awkward about joining in on festivities, the artwork was a chance to help highlight and create a culturally safe environment on campus while empowering and encouraging students to be in Go Week celebrations.

Lauren also did an alumni profile on the UoW explaining further the importance of cultural story telling but also the path she had taken to get to where she is and the role that UoW played in this space.

11 colourful Aboriginal icons

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