We thank the incredible participants who welcomed us into their communities and took the time to share their stories with us. We also thank the local Aboriginal health services and organisations that supported this study.

We would like to acknowledge the Lowitja Institute for funding this research, enabling the significant findings of this study as well as enabling knowledge translation of these findings back into the community. Special thanks also go to the Project Steering Group, the Aboriginal Advisory Group and the South Australian Aboriginal Families Health Research Partnership for supporting the research development, implementation, interpretation and feedback processes.

We thank Anna Dowling for creating the beautiful artwork for this study.

About the Artist

Anna Dowling was born in Adelaide, South Australia. Anna is a descendant of the Badimia people of the Yamatji region in Western Australia. In her artwork, she reflects on her mixed cultural heritage and draws on traditional symbols and patterns.

Anna works to create art that reflects the beauty, diversity and incredible value of Aboriginal culture. She seeks to further her artistic skills and knowledge by learning from artists and community leaders.

View Anna’s website.

Story of the artwork

The artwork draws inspiration from the Rainbow Lorikeet with its’ spectrum of bright, shimmering colours. These colours are used to reflect the multidimensional and diverse nature of gender. Freedom is another theme in the artwork and is represented by the Lorikeet’s inspiring flight. The birds also have a loud and powerful call. This call symbolises strength and expression. Male and female Lorikeets are not easy to distinguish from one another because they are equal in appearance, size, social status and share similar social roles. In this way, they demonstrate equality across genders.

Forming a flock, community and family connections are important for these birds. These community and family connections are also particularly significant for Aboriginal people and an important component of understanding gender. Inspired by this beautiful bird, diversity, equality, freedom, expression, strength and connections to family and community are embedded in the artwork. In this way, the artwork reflects the many facets that come with understanding gender for Aboriginal people.