Posted on November 2020 By Tracey Mesken
Latryce Pearse a WorkPac Machine Operator at Rio Tinto Gove is the winner of the WorkPac’s inaugural National NAIDOC artwork competition. Her artwork ‘Arnhem Resilience’, illustrates how European contact challenged Indigenous people and tried to divide our communities.
The competition was a chance for talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who are employed by the WorkPac Group to be recognised across Australia.
JobTrail General Manager Julian Genn explained, “To help WorkPac & JobTrail celebrate NAIDOC week we invited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to submit artworks for the inaugural 2020 WorkPac National NAIDOC Artwork Competition.”
“The winning artist receives a $500 prize and the artwork has been used to create our 2020 WorkPac NAIDOC week shirt which will be worn by WorkPac staff across Australia.”
“We are thrilled to congratulate the competition winner Latryce Pearse, a Machine Operator at Rio Tinto’s Gove Operations, said Mr Genn.
Latryce’s father is Yolngu from Nhulunbuy and her mother is Tahitian (French Polynesian). The local language in Nhulunbuy in Yolngu Matha.
Ms Pearce explains “My favourite part of NAIDOC is that it gives Indigenous people the opportunity to showcase their talent from all around the country.”
“I decided I wanted each piece of artwork to represent both sides of my Aboriginal & Polynesian heritage.
“So I started to incorporate bright colours and traditional Indigenous symbols and patterns.
“I also love to use the acrylic pour method in some of my pieces to usually symbolise flowing rivers.
“I get a lot of my inspiration from other Indigenous artists around Australia.”
Ms Pearce’s NAIDOC art represents how European contact challenged Indigenous people and tried to divide our communities. It shows that mother earth provided the rivers and medicine leaves to the people to provide healing and protection. Indigenous people have held it's strong culture, spirit and connection to the land and seas. "Always was Always will be" the healer and protector of the people.
Born in Nhulunbuy, Ms Pearce has also lived in Brisbane for 10 years, and Darwin for 3 years.
“I came back home to Gove because it’s one of the best places in Australia in my opinion!
‘I love the easy going lifestyle, I love fishing and camping, exploring the crystal clear beaches and islands.
‘And I have a lot of family here from both sides, so I’m very lucky.
Ms Pearce started working for WorkPac as a Machine Operator in July 2020.
She said “I love that [this job is in] a new industry to what my previous roles have typically been (Admin / Accounts based) and that I’m learning a new skill!”
“I also love my roster, 4 days on 4 days off.”
NAIDOC events will be held virtually by WorkPac this year. The company will hold a national online event with guest speakers and performers.
The 2020 NADIOC theme: Always Was, Always Will Be. recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.
NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations.
It’s about seeing, hearing, and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country - which is Australian history. We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded.
Learn more about NAIDOC
Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.