In the spirit of reconciliation
In the spirit of reconciliation, each year ACRRM and RDAA supports local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artists by commissioning a custom artwork for RMA. This artwork is integrated into the conference branding to promote cultural awareness and educate conference delegates about the Country on which we are gathering and acknowledge the Traditional Owners who have been caring for Country for tens of thousands of years.
We are delighted to introduce you to RMA23 artist, Caleb Nichols-Mansell. Caleb is a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal man who created the RMA artwork 'Healthy Country, Healthy People' to represent the connection to Country and the waterways which surround lutruwita (Tasmania), which he believes are a key part of a holistic approach to health and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.
About the RMA23 artist
Caleb Nichols-Mansell is an early career mixed media artist and the Founder of Blackspace Creative Arts and Cultural Hub. He is a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal man with deep connections to country, community, culture, and spirit which all inform his practice and process as an artist and leader.
Currently living on the north-west coast of Tasmania with his partner, Caleb was born and raised in Launceston with his large and extended family. Caleb went to school first at Mowbray Heights Primary and then later at Brooks High School. After this he completed his first year of postsecondary education at Newstead College before moving on to the University of Tasmania where he studied and later worked for several years.
Caleb has an extensive portfolio in graphic design and digital art and has been commissioned by a number of leading institutes and organisations both within the state and nationally. Stepping outside of his comfort zone, he is beginning to experiment with large scale festival and public art installations as well as site responsive works which will be developed over the coming year. Delving into and shining light on the politics of identity, land, and cultural heritage his artwork aims to generate conversation and evoke deep thinking whilst providing viewers with an intimate look at what it means to be Tasmanian Aboriginal man in modern day Tasmania.
About the RMA23 artwork
Healthy Country, Healthy People
“The artwork I have created is representative of our connection to country and the waterways that surround our homelands. I believe that our connection to country and water are part of a holistic approach to health and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the country. The artwork is symbolic of our gathering on country, protecting and healing country while we protect and heal ourselves from past traumas and illnesses that deeply affected our Old People. The circular motifs represent the coming together of community to take care of each other and our homelands. The pathways represent the journey we all undertake towards good health and healthy country.”
Local culture and experiences at RMA23
Acknowledging the painful past of the muwinina and palawa peoples, RMA recognises this story is not ours to tell. Before attending RMA23, we recommend learning more about the Aboriginal history and culture of nipaluna (Hobart) and lutruwita (Tasmania) as a whole. Below are links to resources to help get you started.
- The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre represents the political and community development aspirations of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. The TAC was developed in the early 1970s and has been funded by the federal government since 1973.
- Discover Tasmania provides resources to help you find and book experiences to participate in palawa/Tasmanian Aboriginal-owned and led experiences where you will learn about the First Peoples’ stories, knowledge, and enduring culture.
Other ways to show your support at RMA23
While you’re at RMA23, a great way to show your support of the palawa people is to incorporate their language, palawa kani, where possible and appropriate during your stay. Here are some words, graciously provided by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, to get you started. You can learn more palawa kani language here.
Traditional name for the land where the city of Hobart is now located
Traditional name for the island of Tasmania
Muwinina Country (Moo-we-nin-ah)
Collective name for Tasmanian Aboriginal People
palawa kani (pah-lah-wah kah-nee)
Tasmanian Aborigines speak; Name for the traditional language of the palawa people
Traditional palawa kani greeting
To dance and sing
You can learn more about palawa kani and how the palawa people have been working deliberately and arduously for decades to restore their language through our RMA23 partner, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre