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Our RAP Artwork

"Cultural Maintenance" by Alan Sumner. The work is an abstract, incorporating symbolic representations of Aboriginal Elders, woven baskets, springs of water, sand, trees and other elements.

The artwork displaying ‘Cultural Maintenance’ was developed by Mr Allan Sumner for the 2017 DHS Innovate RAP and is a fusion of symbols that represented our RAP vision.

As an expression of our commitment to continue to champion the reconciliation agenda and as an expression of growth and continued development, the Reconciliation Committee once again engaged Mr Sumner for the 2022 DHS Innovate RAP.

We asked Mr Sumner to reflect on ‘Cultural Maintenance’ and consider how his artwork could be aligned with those people and communities of South Australia for whom DHS exists to serve.

Additional elements have been added that illustrate state-wide cultural elements and aspects of learning between men, women, children and families.

'Cultural Maintenance' elements


This element represents sand. The same way sand naturally protects against erosion we must also protect and maintain our cultures, languages and values.

Growth and Self-Development

This symbol represents a living tree that is being sustained by water. Like the tree, DHS provides opportunity for personal growth and self-development.


Two journey lines represent Aboriginal Elders who are responsible for teaching our young ones, and leading them on the right path. Their approach may not be the same, but their message is consistent.


This symbol represents a tree root growing under the ground, and winding its way around obstacles on its journey, creating new paths as it grows bigger and stronger.


This symbol represents gathering sites; places where support is offered to families and communities that is culturally safe.


A woven pattern found in traditional basket weaving represents working together for a strong, collective solution. The strands weave together, forming a robust, functional basket.


This symbol represents water and fresh water springs representing the flow of life, renewal and how water sustains life in cycles spanning generations.


This symbol represents the coming together of health professionals, providing collaborative opportunities for people to learn about health issues for Aboriginal peoples.


Aboriginal identity being is our culture — it is our home and our comfort, our safe place. This symbol represents that shelter and the cultural collective of Aboriginal community groups across South Australia.

Men / women teaching families

Teaching young people and passing on First Nations knowledge.

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Page last updated : 27 Feb 2023

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