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In Shannon Shaw’s artwork, crocodiles swim in pools of brilliant colour, and dolphins play as they migrate in the ocean near her Cairns home.
Shaw grew up watching her father, Yirrganydji elder George Skeene, paint and teach about Aboriginal art and traditions. She took up the paintbrush as a student studying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at TAFE in Cairns.
Today, her work hangs in QInvest’s Cairns office, and she is preparing for her first solo exhibition in October.
Her painting is one of four that QSuper commissioned from Aboriginal artists to promote reconciliation and to make members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent feel welcome.
‘Annual Migration,’ the large painting that Shaw created for QSuper’s Cairns office, features dolphins, fish, crocodiles and stingrays as they travel to their animal spawning/ceremonial grounds within the Great Barrier Reef.
“I love my dolphins, and then I thought, ‘Well, why not use a lot of the other animals that are up here,’ Shaw said. “You might see them off the beach if you are lucky.”
In the center of the painting, three dolphins dive through a series of rings and play with a ball. Painted on a background of round shapes and traditional Aboriginal dots, the dolphins’ undulating bodies produce a sensation of swimming amid waves.
“Dolphins are just peaceful and relaxed, and they take their time. That’s how I live my life here, peaceful and relaxed,” she said.
“There’s paint everywhere,” she says of her front patio, which doubles as a studio in the house she shares with her two children and two dogs.
QSuper’s purpose is to provide members with the best possible retirement outcomes. And, as one of the country’s largest funds, QSuper is committed to supporting and improving the communities in which members live and work. Partnerships can help improve the wellbeing of our members and communities around Queensland. By supporting members to work well and live well, partnerships can make a meaningful difference.
As Shannon Shaw watched her father paint when she was young, she got the idea that she could be an artist, too. In addition to working as an artist and historian, her father has worked for the return of Yirrganydji artefacts from Germany and to document cultural sites in their traditional lands, which lie along the coastal plains from Cairns to Port Douglas.
Shaw and her father exchange ideas for stories and designs.
She maintains a Facebook page, Shannon Shaw Art Works, that showcases her paintings.
At QSuper we are dedicated to doing what we can to contribute to reconciliation in Australia. We have members based in remote and very remote areas of Queensland, and we are committed to looking for ways to increase the financial wellbeing and financial literacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In June 2018, we launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which demonstrates our dedication to advancing reconciliation in Australia.
Our RAP focuses on improving financial literacy, promoting cultural awareness, and increasing access to superannuation services and potential benefits. We will deliver practical actions that can help build stronger relationships with, and enhance respect for, our First Australians.
In a painting for QSuper, Indigenous artist Sally Terare drew on the animal and spirit worlds to mark important changes at our Fund.
Partnerships aim to improve the wellbeing of members at work and in the community.
QSuper depicts the ATO statistics on individual taxpayers
We’re offering our members the unique opportunity to experience an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of one of the Flying Doctor’s Queensland bases.