*The CSU ambulance simulator vehicle will be parked in the Glasshouse forecourt with CSU students and paramedics daily from 8am - 5pm.
Mel Streater, a descendant of the Wiradjuri nation and born and lives here on Birpai Country in Port Macquarie.
As a small child I watched my dad paint and sculpt, and my love of art developed. I remember finding it fascinating how a blank canvas or a fallen tree branch could be transformed into a beautiful vessel for communication and storytelling. As my hands and understanding of the world grew, I recognised that I was driven to capture and create beautiful moments. I have a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Design majoring in Graphic Design from Charles Sturt University and I’m currently completing a Cert III in Applied Fashion Design and Technologies through North Coast Institute of TAFE. My visual narrative is crafted with detailed, fine line illustrations of ink and watercolour, while also tying graphic based art, visuals, and written content together to share ideas and stories. Central to all my work is a passion for social justice, environmental sustainability, protection of Mother (Earth), and a desire to design from a culturally aware, inclusive, and ethical framework.
Last year I was approached by the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Communication and Creative Industries to design a bus wrap for the Simulation Ambulance vehicle. We engaged with our staff and student community by conducting a survey, asking questions about what they wanted to see on the vehicle, what they believe CSU stands for, and what the region means to them. It was evident from the results that the majority of students and staff had strong ties to the land. The love of ocean, rivers and mountains were high priorities to be displayed on the vehicle. Participants saw the land as part of their identity. The way I envisioned delivering this concept was through the contemporary Aboriginal art style commonly referred to as dot painting. Instead of the traditional method of painting, I created a digital artwork, utilising skills learned as a CSU Graphic Design student. The premise of the artwork was to convey a topographical representation of the land on which CSU Port Macquarie resides. The artwork represents the ocean, the sand, the river systems, and the mountains of our beautiful coastal environment.
The facemask to be installed on the front of the SimAmbulance for ArtWalk 2020 follows this same design with the addition of some animal tracks from native fauna that live on this land. This artwork is hopefully something the whole community can feel a sense of ownership of. This design depicts Birpai country, the land we currently reside on, work on, study on, create on, and call home. She nurtures and nourishes us all, and in turn we have responsibility to nurture and respect her, Mother (Earth). It is my expectation that the staff and students of CSU Port Macquarie will endeavour to foster a sense of place and belonging for all community.