Connect to Country these school holidays with help from NRMA Insurance

Network of ten First Nations billboard artworks across NSW and QLD remind drivers to connect to Country.

   Connect to Country

NRMA Insurance has unveiled a network of ten First Nations billboard artworks across New South Wales and Queensland, reminding Aussies to connect to Country – and drive safely – these school holidays.

The artworks – created in partnership with Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative – can be spotted on major highways across New South Wales and Queensland and are designed to help increase awareness about the traditional lands of First Nations people. Each artwork is displayed in the community that the artist who created it is connected to.

NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager for Safer Communities Ramana James said the artworks are a great way for people to learn more about the traditional lands they’re driving through, and the 50,000-plus years of First Nations history and heritage in NSW and Queensland.

“Road trips have grown in popularity as more Aussies spend time seeing their state and we expect to see more people on the roads during the Easter long weekend and school holidays.

“The artworks are designed to create awareness and help drivers connect with the land as they pass through and contribute to a proud and shared national identity for all Australians, while reminding everyone to drive safely on the roads,” Mr James said.

Sharon Smith, a Wiradjuri woman from Cowra in NSW whose artwork is displayed on a billboard in Wiradjuri Country, south of Dubbo, said her artwork gives her and her ancestors a stronger voice and a unique way to connect with other members of the community.

“Reflecting on my own connection to land and country, my artwork is based on my childhood memories of visiting the three rivers of Wiradjuri country and hearing the colourful stories being passed down from my elders.”

NRMA Insurance is a proud supporter of First Nations communities and the Reconciliation movement in Australia. In February 2019, NRMA Insurance parent company IAG launched an Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), its third RAP.

The RAP outlines commitments including providing employment and internship opportunities to First Nations people and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.

NRMA Insurance encourages safe driving these school holidays

NRMA Insurance is also reminding people to be careful when heading out on the roads these school holidays.

“We anticipate heavier traffic over the coming two weeks as people look to escape the city for a break across our beautiful country, so we encourage everyone to take extra care on the roads these school holidays, particularly in areas which might have experienced recent flooding.

“Take a 15-minute break from driving every two hours to avoid driver fatigue. Pack your sunglasses for driving in bright sunlight, and sunscreen for you and your passengers. Always stick to the speed limit. Never drive and text.

“And this year, make sure you keep up to date on the latest state-specific travel advice, and add hand sanitiser, face masks, tissues and soap to your travel kit to keep safe,” Mr James said.

NRMA Insurance First Nations billboard locations (NSW and QLD)

NRMA Insurance First Nations billboards interactive map

View this interactive map in ‘full screen mode’ to explore the locations of the ten NRMA Insurance First Nations billboards across New South Wales and Queensland:

 NRMA Insurance First Nations billboards interactive map

Photos available for download:

Artists and their artwork:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/13d4WQGfnGUbgBlSmEEvuG836hS_sqieK

Dharawal billboard, Princes Highway, Heathcote:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JEE2aVJtnAfrydY84cnN9NFNLEXzzCRw

Wiradjuri billboard, Newell Highway, Dubbo South (Peak Hill):

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-q0O020yz4PlG349OiLAadl02stS7Y_W

Video

2-minute video featuring drone footage of NRMA Insurance First Nations billboard sites and interviews with artists Jasmine Sarin and Joanne Cassady:

https://app.frame.io/presentations/5ebd0b3a-fec4-41ad-8485-93bf33199ddc