Aboriginal artwork shines on shirts

Aboriginal artwork shines on shirts

16 March 2022

Public school life In the news

A staff member at a primary school in Baldivis has transformed her Aboriginal artwork into wearable polo shirts, bringing First Nations culture into the classroom.

Sheoak Grove Primary School acting deputy principal Rosie Paine is a proud Yilka/Wongutha/Noongar/Yamatji artist whose paintings share rich stories of her culture and Country.

Staff at Sheoak Grove Primary School wearing a design created by Rosie Paine, middle.

Ms Paine’s artwork is now available to be worn on t-shirts, after collaborating with Spida Custom Apparel.

This year, staff at Sheoak Grove Primary School are wearing a design created by Ms Paine.

“The interlocking dotted circles represent our staff, students, parents, families and community together as we shine, grow and connect. The design incorporates our school colours,” she said.

“I am extremely proud to have my artwork showcased so visibly in our school community. It’s important to me as it represents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures being acknowledged in schools.”

This is just one of the many ways Ms Paine is passionate about leading cultural change and engages staff and students to learn about Aboriginal culture, art, history, and languages at her school and beyond.

The shirts are one of many ways the school is incorporating Aboriginal culture in the classroom.

“Cultural responsiveness at Sheoak Grove Primary School is not only about incorporating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages,” she said.

“For us, it’s about acknowledging the Country that our school is on, acknowledging Noongar culture and language, promoting reconciliation and developing meaningful connections to our community.”

Ms Paine has also been approached by a number of public schools recently to work with them on Aboriginal artwork to incorporate into their school business plans, shirts, factions and to display in their schools. 

Ms Paine’s achievements were recognised last year when she was named a finalist in the 2021 WA Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year category in the 2021 WA Education Awards.