Contemporary Indigenous artist Chern’ee Sutton has designed an Indigenous Military Service Stamp & Coin Set in light of Remembrance Day.

Sutton told the National Indigenous Times that she was very honoured to have created the Indigenous Military Service Coin earlier this year.

“I am as deeply honoured to have designed the Indigenous Military Service Stamp & Coin Set to remember our fallen brothers and sisters that have served in all conflicts for this Remembrance Day.”

The original artwork that adorns the cover and stamp is a piece called “Caina Putut, Ilya, Wartanganha” which means in the Kalkadoon language “Long ago, Today, Tomorrow”.

The piece was created in 2017 at the Defence Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Network (DATSIN) conference.

Chern’ee Sutton. Photo Supplied.

Sutton told the National Indigenous times that the artwork is “a tribute to the Indigenous people that have served and still serve in the Australian Defence Forces”.

“In my painting the rainbow serpent represents the Dreamtime and the beginning of the longest living culture in the world … It also represents the longest continuous belief in the world which is the rainbow serpent,” she said.

“The reds and oranges in the middle of the painting represents our sunburnt Country and Uluru the birth place of creation and all life in Australia.

“The red, yellow and black circles represent Aboriginal people and the blue, green and white circles represent Torres Strait Islander people.

“All of which have a strong connection to their culture, their history, the land, the air and the sea.”

Sutton explained “the Southern Cross unites all Australians as one and it reminds us of our past with our ancestors”.

“For the past 60,000 years passing down creation stories from generation to generation while gazing at the star systems that have remained ageless since the dawn of time.

“The large community symbol represents the Australian Public Service who encourages our brothers and sisters to enlist and serve in the Army, Navy and Air Force. With the yellow footprints representing their enlistment and journey to the Australian Defence Forces.”

Sutton said the the Army is represented by the M1 Abrams tank and the kangaroo, with the Navy being represented by the Guided Missile Frigate and the shark.

“The Air Force is represented by the FA 18 Hornet and the eagle who soars high above keeping a watchful eye out for their prey,” she said.

“The smaller community symbols joined by the white dotted lines represents the Australian Defence Force which is all connected as one to the land, the sea and the skies.

“The blue fingerprints around the outside of the painting represent the Armed Forces that protect our borders, our citizens and our way of life.”

The stamp and coin set is limited edition, with only 1,111 being sold.

By Teisha Cloos