Aboriginal artwork symbolises professional development journey

A new painting by Aboriginal visual artist Emma Bamblett spectacularly captures the professional journey of Victorian learning specialists.

Learning Journey was commissioned by the Department of Education and Training to reflect the six capability areas, which outline the skills and knowledge required by learning specialists to best perform their role.

It was created specifically for learning specialists to be used and shared when working with colleagues and peers.

For Emma, who has connections with the Wemba Wemba, Gunditjmara, Ngadjonji and Taungurung mobs, creating the artwork was a valuable experience.

'Learning, getting inspiration and then applying this knowledge into my paintings has been a process that has helped me learn about myself and connect to my culture,' she said.

'I've been able to talk through my ideas with my Mum and Aunties and they help me reflect about my mother's country.'

Emma has previously created several pieces of art for the Department, including the Acknowledgement of Country plaques around the Treasury precinct, and so was tasked with creating Learning Journey.

Emma has used orange kangaroo tracks to symbolise the journey of learning specialists through the six capability areas:

  • leading from the middle (orange area, bottom right)
  • professional observations for professional learning (orange area, top)
  • professional conversations (purple area, right)
  • enriching data and evidence practices (blue area, bottom)
  • modelling exemplary teaching practice and professional learning (purple area, right side)
  • mentoring and coaching (purple area, left side).

The artwork highlights what inclusive professional learning practices look like through imagery. It reflects the goals of Wirnalung Ganai, a plan aimed at ensuring the Department is an inclusive and culturally safe place for all Aboriginal people and helps to achieve the aspirations of the recently launched Aboriginal Employment Plan through the employment of Aboriginal people as a supplier.

The intention

It is hoped the artwork helps learning specialists strengthen their professional identity through a connection to the imagery, as well as:

  • build confidence to share the story behind the Learning Journey artwork
  • strengthen engagement and understand professional learning is not a linear journey
  • support personal ownership of being a learning specialist
  • initiate professional conversations that help the use of capability areas to have an impact.

Emma said Learning Journey was more than just a painting to her.

'I hope the artwork reflects the journeys of viewers and they can see themselves within the painting, learning and building knowledge of Aboriginal culture,' she said.