My Voice. My Truth. My Story. Jason Coulthard.
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
NAIDOC week, July 7-14.
Voice. Treaty. Truth.
Let’s work together, for a shared future.
Indigenous Australia is a people who are the oldest continuing culture in the world, well over 65,000 thousand years old. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. With originally over 250 languages, (and 800 dialects), once spoken by the Aboriginal people of Australia, only 13 remain today to be spoken by Aboriginal children.
These languages pass down lore, culture, knowledge, wisdom for over a millennia and are precious not only to our nation, but to the world.
In the theme of this year, and especially this week, NAIDOC week, the voice or our first nation people is one to be heard and held as a vital connection to our country.
An essential understanding of our country, a voice that historically has not been held space for. It is a voice that includes knowledge, practice, skills and innovations.
With increasing pressures on our land resources and environment, this is a voice that we may utilise in a practical, not just a theoretical way, to create better and thrive together. The contexts are endless, from agriculture, science, technology, design, ecology, medicine, and bio-diverse related knowledge, many visionary and innovative leaders are paying attention.
This is the voice of Jason Coulthard, Aboriginal Community Case Worker, Artist, and Ethical Fashion Designer.
“I am Jason Coulthard, and I am an Adnymathanha man from South Australia. Adnymathanha means rock people.
We come from the heart of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.
I was born in a small town called Quorn.
It’s an artistic town and has been for a very long time and to this day is used for Australian movies and TV shows.
I like draw with all types of pens and pencils.
Ink pens and graphite pencils allow me to draw what’s deep with my imagination.
I love to use black ink the most, I love it’s colour and the way it creates contrast.
These days I use my art to capture Adnyamathanha language and the nature surrounding the land of ours.
Today many of our mob aren’t using the Adnyamathanha language so it’s dying out.
I keep my knowledge alive by drawing Adnyamathanha land, animals and stories.
Another aim of mine is to inspire people to look after nature and learn from ancient methods of our mob to live in harmony with the land animals and nature.
We need understanding about what culture is, how it’s formed.
We should introduce and develop emotional intelligence methods and discussion in our schools.
Protecting the environment number is one, without it we cease to exist. Let’s encourage kids to get involved in native flora and fauna, to interact with nature and talk about how it makes them feel.
So then, they become connected.
This can create a unity of minds.”
Jason Coulthard is an Adnymathanha man from South Australia. He is an Aboriginal Caseworker, Artist, and owner of Wakarla, a conscious fashion label featuring his art printed on ethically made clothing, created in 2012. Jason also teaches art and design workshops in schools in NSW, and recently worked with students to create and design art pieces as groups.
Jason currently resides in Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
Through his art, he is passionate about preserving culture and nature.
You can connect to Jason and purchase his art through the links to his social media accounts firstname.lastname@example.org
“The featured drawing is called: Urtli (Star) Yuratu (woman) Star Woman.
Of the Adnymathanha language.
The drawing is about a woman of millennia ago in Australia staring into the night sky and drawing calmness, awe, a sense of connection to the universe. The night sky is my favourite. I draw inspiration and worth when I look at it.
This drawing is a way to inspire people to take time to really gaze into the night sky and feel connection to it. After all we are made of the same elements the universe contains.”
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, whose origins can be traced to the emergence of groups formed in the 1920’s created to increase awareness to the wider community of the treatment and lives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
For more information, and how to get involved visit www.naidoc.org.au
Written by Nicole Armit, The Mindfoodie.