Deb Belyea’s ‘Urapun Muy’ Wins 2024 NAIDOC Week Poster Competition

Deb Belyea's 'Urapun Muy' Wins 2024 NAIDOC Week Poster Competition

Deb Belyea’s artwork ‘Urapun Muy’ has been selected as the winning entry for the 2024 NAIDOC Week poster competition. The proud member of the Samuawgadhalgal Cassowary Clan expressed her joy at the recognition, stating that her design, which translates to ‘One Fire’ in Kalaw Kawaw Ya, perfectly encapsulates the 2024 theme and Indigenous cultures. Deb Belyea’s ‘Urapun Muy’ Wins 2024 NAIDOC Week Poster Competition

“When I saw that the NAIDOC theme for this year was ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud,’ I wanted to create an art piece that reflected our First Nations cultures,” Ms. Belyea said.

Currently residing on the lands of the Juru people in Bowen, North Queensland, Ms. Belyea is not only an artist but also an educator and curriculum writer. She emphasized the significance of culture, stating, “Culture is the fire that burns within all of us. It is essential to us when we talk about our people, identity, and spirituality.”

Ms. Belyea’s winning artwork depicts ancestors’ hands placing an ember into a burning fire, symbolizing the sharing of cultural knowledge from one generation to the next.

The National NAIDOC Committee praised ‘Urapun Muy,’ stating that it perfectly captures the meaning of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, ‘Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud.’ Co-chair Steven Satour described Ms. Belyea’s work as “exceptional.”

“We saw tremendous talent in this year’s NAIDOC poster competition. We knew the theme would inspire mob and Deb’s work was exceptional,” Mr. Satour said.

Ms. Belyea’s Samuawgadhalgal heritage traces back to the people of the top Western Torres Strait islands of Saibai, Dauan, and the Bamaga-Saibai community of Cape York.

Dr. Aunty Lynette Riley, co-chair of the National NAIDOC Committee, echoed Mr. Satour’s sentiments, stating, “Deb’s artwork is extremely powerful. It features unique cultural elements that tell the story of the Cassowary Clan passing on knowledge.”

The National NAIDOC Committee has once again appointed Kmart and Target as the official national NAIDOC Week poster distribution partner for 2024. John Gualtieri, CEO of Kmart and Target, expressed pride in the partnership, stating, “Our commitments in this space are important to us as a business, and we are proud to once again be partners of NAIDOC Week.”

Posters featuring ‘Urapun Muy’ will be distributed across all Kmart, K hub, and Target stores next month and can also be downloaded from the NAIDOC website.

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