caring@home Indigenous Art Competition

As part of our commitment to improving quality of life and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, caring@home held an Indigenous Art Competition to raise awareness about palliative care.

This competition is now closed. Winners were announced on 17 March 2022. Scroll down to view winners and entrants.

All submitted artworks will be displayed here until 30 June 2023.


Name of artwork: Life's Journey

Artist: Lee Hall

Artist's description of the artwork: This painting embraces spirituality and being with loved ones during the end stage of life before entering the dreamtime. The circles represent community home palliative care which provide cultural, emotional, social, and spiritual support. Within the circle is the individual on the journey to enter the dreaming. Around those circles are family and friends and beyond these are other health care professionals and support workers - the end journey is not a lonely one. The leaf work represents going back to country which brings a sense of peace and acceptance.

Second Place

Name of artwork: Strength and Positivity

Artist: Ashleigh Elle

Artist's description of the artwork: This piece represents someone very close to me. This shows our loved one surrounded by family, friends and community throughout their journey. It shows the many paths and obstacles that they have faced along the way. They continue to show strength and positivity during all of the ups and downs. At the end of their journey our loved one will forever be with us watching over and walking with us side by side.

Third Place

Name of artwork: We are waiting

Artist: BPM

Artist's description of the artwork: The white square section on the left represents the current palliative care model, sterile white with square rectangular and sharp shapes, the Western approach. The environment is not designed with our culture in mind. The person walking out of the white square section represents an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person leaving this life. The person is going home back to their culture and ancestral lands represented by the colourful circular motifs which also represent life, earth, nature, water and the dreaming. The figures dancing symbolise Ancestors and family happily waiting.


Artist: J Hookey

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork showcases a loved one being surrounded by family and community, caring and nurturing them so they’re content and loved within their last moments as they ascend in their final moments into the Dreamtime. The middle circular symbol represents a person showing their connection (the outer circular symbols) to other people, such as family and community, the inner small designs between them all represent their home country and the multicoloured blue dotting showcases the person’s ascent off into the Dreamtime peacefully.

Highly commended young artist

Name of artwork: Connection

Artist: Latishamarie Francis

Artist's description of the artwork: Hands represent community and family support, caring for Elders including hospital and health workers. Man on the hill and the surrounding meeting place represents our connection to culture, ancestors and Elders; still a crucial part of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The animals and landscape show how Country is a strong part of us. The feet and pathway show our journeys through life and into the Dreamtime; starting small, growing bigger, travelling life’s obstacles. The central yarning circle shows family, the centre for all Indigenous people and houses showing the importance of being at home with family and in community.


Name of artwork: Coming together

Artist: Jillian Jacob

Artist's description of the artwork: This painting represents, On country Elders, Men, women and children coming together with community to care for a loved one and each other for the final stages of life's journey until they meet again.

All entries

Name of artwork: Care at Home

Artist: Angel Manning

Artist's description of the artwork: My 'Care at Home' art piece depicts an ant colony, ants work together to form their nest and provide for the Queen Ant. Our 'Ants' are health workers, family, friends and partners maintaining and assisting the 'Queen' in their home.

Name of artwork: Into the Dreaming

Artist: Lauren Johnson

Artist's description of the artwork: All your ancestors are looking down on you. They are connected to each other, watching over you and comforting you. They are sending you strength and love.

Name of artwork: Pills Don't Grow on Trees

Artist: Tuggiwonga

Artist's description of the artwork: Pills don't grow on trees but medication plays an important role in assisting a comfortable return to the Dreaming. Family, community and culture working together with the help of modern medicine and health care workers can support us through our end of life experience with compassion and dignity. The circle in the centre represents the immediate family surrounded and supported by community. The other circle with "u"s represents family waiting in the Dreaming. The "u"s in the top left hand corner are the ancestors dancing waiting for the return of their loved one. The lines are the journeys.

Name of artwork: Great Spirit Dreaming

Artist: Nanii Davies

Artist's description of the artwork: GREAT spirit Dreaming is a visual narrative of our individual journey to the dreaming. At the centre of this artwork is the person who is preparing for their journey to the Dreaming. Surrounded by loving kin and support people, the person at the centre of this artwork is never alone. The blue water-like feature is symbolic of the earthly home where all of the love and care is provided. Around the home we have ancestors and spiritual protectors who exist in the dreaming, which is represented by the beautiful galaxy.

Name of artwork: Endurance

Artist: Chloe Adams

Artist's description of the artwork: I take a holistic approach to health and well-being. Endurance tells the story of family supporting their loved ones during extremely trying times. Surrounding them in love and kindness, on country.

Name of artwork: Surrounded by caring family

Artist: Diahan Riley

Artist's description of the artwork: Here we see our much-loved elderly ones surrounded by people who love them. This is what is needed by those nearing their end-of-life journey. Yarning with family and friends, reminiscing about the old days over a cuppa. Storytelling, passing on their knowledge to younger ones whether it be the best fishing spot or where the quandongs grow. Being home gives peace of mind knowing that they are surrounded by and with loved ones.

Name of artwork: My Journey Home

Artist: Lauren Johnson

Artist's description of the artwork: Looking down on the circles which represent the connection to country and family, fading as you come up through the stars and past the clouds, making your way to the bright pathway on your journey home to the dreamtime.

Name of artwork: My Mother's Journey

Artist: Charlene Allen

Artist's description of the artwork: Before my mother got sick, I looked after her in a home we shared in Smithfield, Cairns. Mum was born and raised in the Torres Strait and had strong ties with her family and Island traditions. I originally painted this image in 2015, and it hung on our wall for years - but after Mum’s passing, all the images in the house we shared were painted over. I think it was my way to handle grief and trying to come to terms with her death.

Name of artwork: Connection

Artist: Kirra-Lee Fletcher

Artist's description of the artwork: The story behind this artwork represents the journey to the Dreamtime. Our ancestors, family and friends surrounding and comforting us in our last moments here in the calm space of ‘Home’. The connection between family and community and these precious moments on country as we crossover in a sacred and beautiful connection.

Name of artwork: Looking Back

Artist: Tuggiwonga

Artist's description of the artwork: The Elder is shown reflecting on life, being connected to country, to ancestors, to family. Then the Elder is returning to country, to ancestors, to family. The Elder is filled with a sense of contentment, fulfilment and pride.

Name of artwork: Dreaming of the land

Artist: Cortney Glass

Artist's description of the artwork: This artwork is inspired by our land representing many elements of the Australian landscape from the desert, bush and to our Australian coastline. The blues represent the calm waves of the ocean. The yellow represents the soft sand of our coastlines and browns representing the desert and the bush. The footprints along the sand symbolises our connection to land and the journey.

Name of artwork: Surrounded by Mob

Artist: Tracy-Lee Heaydon

Artist's description of the artwork: In life and death we are surrounded by our Mob and Ancestors from generations past. The flow of our present, our past and our future towards our Dreaming. The flow of emotions, fears, and our dreams at the end of our Journey.

Name of artwork: Welcome Home

Artist: Lutana Plangermaireener

Artist's description of the artwork: The transition from our physical form to spirit is greeted by “Yu-ungee”. They guide us safely home and keep us safe while we journey back from where we came.

Name of artwork: The Dreaming

Artist: Michelle

Artist's description of the artwork: This artwork shows the stages of our lifetime. It shows how towards the end of our journey in this world a new one opens up and life begins again. I chose the use of vibrant colours to represent the happy, interesting and fulfilling lives that we have all lived and that progressing towards the afterlife they still are as vibrant as ever. I chose the use of the sea turtles to show the progression from one physical plane to another.

Name of artwork: Dreaming at Home

Artist: Katrina Birrell

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork reflects spiritual connection to country. It shows our culture and our way of healing and finding peace.

Name of artwork: Keeping watching

Artist: Kyena G

Artist's description of the artwork: This is about when I was waiting for my little brother and sister to come – a long wait with Dad for them to come.

Name of artwork: Spirit Journey

Artist: Tracy-Lee Heaydon

Artist's description of the artwork: We are born. We are taught Culture and grounding with Mother Earth and Country. Our Mob and Community teach us the way to keep our knowledge alive to be passed down to our younger generations. We travel our journey and grow with each day we walk the land. When the time comes and we are ready to leave our Country we should be surrounded by Mob and our Spirit should travel to our Ancestors with Celebration, Song and Dance.

Name of artwork: Butterfly Dreaming

Artist: Tayce

Artist's description of the artwork: The butterfly in the middle represents an elder in the community who is sick and is going home to be with her mob and community. The butterflies around her are her close mob who are taking care of her till she passes on to the Dreamtime. In the background are the different communities that she is well known in who are there to support her and her mob through this time.

Name of artwork: Dreamtime

Artist: Emma Robertson

Artist's description of the artwork: Central to my artworks is the holding of hands, symbolising never being alone. That care is best given by those who we love and love us. I have tried to incorporate themes that I find important as we take our final journey into the dreaming. Images of mountains and water reflect being on country and being able to feel connected to our ancestral homelands and Mother Earth. Gathering around the fire represents kin and community, being together, yarning, accepting that this too is a journey that takes us full cycle back to our creator.

Name of artwork: Ancestral Lands

Artist: S Matthews

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork reflects the journey returning to country, our ancestral lands and having our last moments surrounded by people who love us, reflecting on the life we lived and having those last moments of peace.

Name of artwork: We cry for country

Artist: Yurautu

Artist's description of the artwork: Our people lose their way culturally, especially our fair skin and blue eyes Mob. We need to connect as one and find our country, home and loved ones.

Name of artwork: Coming-home (strong home bring up strong kids)

Artist: Kenny G

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork is about coming home to a strong home being brought up by strong parents.

Name of artwork: Battle Mountain

Artist: Jules DeValter

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork reflects the theme ‘Journey to Dreaming at Home’ by capturing the bountiful landscape of Battle Mountain, the location where the majority of the Kalkadoon tribe was massacred in 1884. It is my grounding belief that their spirits continue to live on and with that, it has taught me to value the aftermath of traumatising events as it deepens human connection through vulnerability and self-reflection.

Name of artwork: Returning Home

Artist: Amanda Hinkelmann

Artist's description of the artwork: Represented within this artwork is a fulfilled life, returning home. The time on Earth, learning, gathering knowledge and passing it on. Holding cultural knowledge of the seasons, the animals and plants - of Country. It shares the idea of connection to both people and place, with meeting places prominent within the piece. The stars sit at the top of the piece, representing the journey home, where our Elders and our mob will sit, guiding from above.

Name of artwork: Goanna Dreaming

Artist: Stacie Saltner

Artist's description of the artwork: Painting depicts the Goanna. It is representative of the Journey of the Goanna’s spirit. His journey on country, through the sunsets and into the night sky representing our dreaming. Goanna spirit is the dreamer he shapes our dreams and reminds us to trust what our dreams are telling us. Although he may seem to be sunbathing and looks like he is sleeping when out in the open he is really shaping our dreams. His totem/spirit is a reminder for us that life is a journey and that we all belong to the dreaming/dreamtime.

Name of artwork: Home

Artist: Angel Manning

Artist's description of the artwork: 'Home' regards what people find comforting in their homes. The centre surrounding rings represent the person and their home. What surrounds the home is beautiful Australian flora and fauna, family meeting places and spiritual ceremony grounds. The person's family, friends, partners and health workers help to ensure the person’s comfort at their home for end of life care.

Name of artwork: Journey to the Dreaming

Artist: Jack Treschman

Artist's description of the artwork: This artwork reflects the importance of maintaining a strong connection to family, loved ones and your home while taking your journey to the dreaming. Ending this life and moving onto the next is a moment where you should be surrounded by your community and move on knowing the love that is around you. This artwork represents multiple family groups in the community supporting their loved ones who are moving on to the dreaming in the comfort of their own home and familiar surroundings.

Name of artwork: Home is where the Heart Is

Artist: Jedess Hudson

Artist's description of the artwork: This painting represents males and females as they receive Care on Country. These circular shapes are representative of strength coming together on their final journey home. This process can be challenging but integral to maintaining a healthy spirit and mind. The design also features the loved one at the core with multiple rings of circles. This shows the ripple effect and support networks required within a community and being with family to maintain cultural connection. Blues and greens are calming colours which are healing during the end-of-life-journey.

Name of artwork: The kind and gentle old man

Artist: Garry Pittman

Artist's description of the artwork: The kind and gentle old man. For many years an old man wandered from clan to clan helping those in need. Eventually, the time arrived when the people no longer required his help. The old man felt that he had outlived his usefulness, so he decided to find a quiet place and sing himself to his dreamtime. The tribal elders decided, to gather at the old man’s camp to perform a solemn corroboree to assist him to his dreaming. This was their way of thanking the kind and gentle old man for his years of selfless caring.

Name of artwork: Going home @ home

Artist: Carissa Paglino

Artist's description of the artwork: Ask someone how they would prefer to pass away and most people will say “peacefully, at home, surrounded by family”. That’s how my Nan left this world and that’s how I would like to go. Nan required full time care in her end-of-life journey. She felt safer and more at ease being at home, in familiar surroundings, where care can be more intimate. Nan was able to enjoy creature comforts such as sitting in the rose garden, sipping a glass of wine, having a home cooked meal or looking at family photos. At home she was connected to family, spirituality, country and community.

Name of artwork: A Sacred Journey

Artist: Kayelene Slater-Terry

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork represents a sacred journey of our loved ones and no matter what obstacles they may face along the way there is no place like home to be comfortable and surrounded by family and friends with support from the community to live in peace and harmony before returning to their dreaming place. The small white dots in the centre are representing the journey, the first campsite is the community, the centre campsite is representing the home surrounded by family, friends and workers, the third campsite is the dreaming place, the blue in the artwork represents peace.

Name of artwork: Into the Dreamtime

Artist: Simone Spencer

Artist's description of the artwork: My piece represents the Family member at the centre with family, friends and caregivers surrounding the person giving them care, love and support on their journey home to the dreamtime. The outer layer represents the dreamtime with all the spirits of the ancestors waiting to welcome the loved one home.

Name of artwork: Home - peace and quiet and rest. Mum I love you

Artist: Andrew Nelson

Artist's description of the artwork: Family is the journey and pathway between life and death.

Name of artwork: Caring for kin

Artist: Bev Garces

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork depicts the whole family together caring for a loved one at home. Along with services, the family is able to care for them until they leave for the dreaming. The hand represents the hands-on love and care the family member receives, with the home in the centre and all family members holding hands around the home.

Name of artwork: Together

Artist: Lee Hampton

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork represents community and family coming together to care for their loved ones, making sure they’re comfortable in their final moments.

Name of artwork: Irrare-Irreme Apmere (Long for Country in Arrernte)

Artist: Kala Spencer

Artist's description of the artwork: This piece is to convey the journey that is life itself, from journey’s beginning to its eventual completion. The outside dots with various colours are the many places you can call home. Reds of the deserts, browns of the forests. The river lines represent our knowledge, family and culture. These increase as you grow and decrease as you teach the new generations. The circular meeting places change as well as you the journey ages, gaining complexity. The entire piece represents the circular motion of life, death and rebirth. From every birth on Country and every returning home at journeys end.

Name of artwork: Welcome Home

Artist: Brioney Keats

Artist's description of the artwork: Welcome Home shares the journey of travelling to the heavenly home, welcomed by ancestors gone before. Wherever life travels, every path leads home to country, physical or spiritual. A time to reflect on the journey lived, stories shared and who has been there in support. Country is represented by earthy tones, where “welcome home” is etched, the message shared by creation. The person experiencing this journey is at the centre, representing person-centred care, surrounded by loved ones. Ancestors are represented in white - a part of country and the foundation for all those who will come after.

Name of artwork: Walking Home

Artist: Jodie Munday – Cr8ive Art

Artist's description of the artwork: Our journey begins learning and growing on the country we call our home with our family and mob beside us. We are rooted and bound to our country by a strong connection through our ancestors. As we travel our journey through life guided by ancestors we age and bloom into strong vibrant people with much knowledge, passion and love ready to make our final journey from country back to our ancestors and the dreaming. I have shown this journey from birth to the dreaming throughout our lives with our connection to country from bottom to top in this artwork.

Name of artwork: Windeejash

Artist: Ngaice

Artist's description of the artwork: This cross-cut saw represents my cousin's land. The pressures of the land at the mercy of drought, stock in distress and dying lead her to life threatening decisions and she needed help. With help, she has recovered her sense of worth and love of life. I wanted to represent the importance her land has for her and how her family need her.

Name of artwork: Yiriyirimbang (Special places, comfort places, happy places)

Artist: Ngaice

Artist's description of the artwork: This represents the different stages of working, being happy, being ill, the journey back. It is not always constant, it is a cycle of good, better and sometimes sad, even angry.

Name of artwork: Journey of Life

Artist: Tayce

Artist's description of the artwork: Journey of life starts with the group of elders sitting together as a group of 4 then over time the group slowly gets smaller and smaller as they pass on to the Dreamtime and are at peace until they reunite again.

Name of artwork: Going Home to Country

Artist: Annie Hay

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork represents a patient going home to country to live out their last days in peace. They’ve walked the hard road, which is represented by the grey lines through the middle of the artwork. The medical staff have taken a step back from full on treatment and have made the patient comfortable in their own surroundings. They are now surrounded by loved ones and the tranquillity of country. Country is represented by the topography type lines and the small sporadic lines depict the bush. The soft flowing lines show calm.

Name of artwork: Journey

Artist: Chloe Adams

Artist's description of the artwork: As a nurse and a daughter of a terminally ill parent, I have witnessed the benefits of end of life care in the home. My artwork reflects a person’s journey to their ancestors. At home, surrounded by loved ones. We all make our journey to country, return to earth and eventually on toward our ancestors. We are all connected in a journey of love and time.

Name of artwork: Home dreamtime

Artist: Krystal Mc

Artist's description of the artwork: Spiritual home coming through culture and who we are today.

Name of artwork: Gnowangerup

Artist: Trigger

Artist's description of the artwork: Missing home.

Name of artwork: Palya kanyima (Looking after, right way)

Artist: Emma Stubbs

Artist's description of the artwork: Being looked after the “right way” at the end of life’s journey can be sad for families. That is why it is important for families to have the right to choose how and where the care is provided. I draw a story of my mum and how we envision her being cared for when she is at the end of her journey; at home with family and with support from the necessary services. She is at the centre and we are all around her.

Name of artwork: Her blood runs deep

Artist: Jodee Page

Artist's description of the artwork: Mum had a major accident in hospital ending up in the ICU at John Hunter Hospital. It was touch and go there for 3 months. That was a year ago. She was allowed to come home after months of rehab. She lost her memory due to the head injuries she got.  The painting symbols are us, her 4 children, that waited endlessly for months, watching and waiting for her to wake up, and all the therapy, hospitals and rehabilitation places that continue to help us with the care of Mum. Thank you.

Name of artwork: Serenity

Artist: Tallulah Bieundurry

Artist's description of the artwork: My artwork Serenity is a depiction of a scene that I find most comforting. The full moon is a common symbol of our spiritual selves, eternity, and the afterlife. The night sky represents reflection, rest and recharge, as well as traditional methods that Aboriginal people utilised to navigate journeys, using stars and constellations to point the way home. The ocean represents journey, with the ebb and flow of the tide. The round canvas represents the circle of life and time. This artwork is about a journey to find serenity, to find home.

Page last updated 17 March 2022