“Protection” was commissioned by the Stillbirth CRE as part of its Indigenous Research Program.
The purpose of the piece is to help raise awareness about the importance of culturally safe and appropriate Indigenous perinatal health and bereavement support in Australia, and to promote collaboration to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and families.
The painting represents the protection, support, and sense of community Indigenous Australian women need throughout their maternity care, including after a baby has passed away.
“Protection” is a beautiful piece of Indigenous art that brings together many meaningful parts:
Deanna Stuart-Butler, Chair of the Stillbirth CRE’s Indigenous Advisory Group and descendant of the Arabana people of the “Pantu Parnda” (Lake Eyre) Region of South Australia, reflected on the significance of “Protection”.
“I wanted a piece of art that reflected our commitment to research and our relationship with grief and loss. To hopefully open the closed doors, to change attitudes and dispel assumptions that have for too long kept our women, families and communities in the dark alone with their sorry business babies.”
The Stillbirth CRE and its Indigenous Advisory Group are delighted to have this piece and look forward to sharing it widely through ongoing research and advocacy activities.
Please refer to our creative use protocol for more information on the use, reproduction, adaptation and publication of the Indigenous artworks created for use across the Stillbirth CRE program of work. Queries can be directed to the Stillbirth CRE Coordinating Centre firstname.lastname@example.org
Leona McGrath is a Woopaburra and Kuku Yalanji woman from Queensland, now based in NSW. She is a mother, grandmother, artist and registered midwife. Leona is part of the Stillbirth CRE’s Indigenous Research Program and is a member of its Indigenous Advisory Group.
Read more about Leona here.