‘Together As One’ Artwork On Display


National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2024 was recognised at RAAF Base Darwin, through the unveiling of two artworks by Aircraftwoman Dakoda Dalton from 13 Squadron.

The artworks were presented to the personnel of RAAF Base Darwin including Army, Navy and United States Marine Corps counterparts in the air movements terminal where they will be put on display, welcoming all incoming and outgoing passengers.

Dakoda is a Jawoyn and Gudriji woman, born and raised on Larrakeyah land.

She noted that National Reconciliation Week is a time to recognise the importance of building respectful relationships between First Nations and non-First Nations peoples.

“We all have a virtual role to play in this ongoing process, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their histories, cultures and futures,” Aircraftwoman Dalton said.

“My two paintings represent NRW via the different cultures and communities within the Australian Defence Force.”

The event also included a smoking ceremony for participants to engage with the customs and traditions of the local Larrakeyah people.

National Reconciliation Week is held annually between May 27 to June 3 across Australia and is recognised as a Defence event of significance and importance.

Aircraftwomen Dalton’s art is titled Together as one, Clearing a Path for everyone and each canvas tells a story.

“The [red-tailed black] cockatoo represents the RAAF Base Darwin Totem, the handprints represent non-Indigenous and Indigenous people coming together and working alongside each other, and the dots after represent the next generations continuing to work together,” she said.

“The next canvas represents the ADF members posting in and out of each base’s community as well as our international allies that come in and out of Australia in support of exercises and operations.”

The event was an opportunity for ADF and international personnel to reflect on what National Reconciliation Week means to them and recognise, as Aircraftwomen Dalton said, “reconciliation is not just a concept, it must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward”.

‘Now more than ever’ is the theme for National Reconciliation Week this year.

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