The painting depicts pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into doing research. The circles are meeting places where discussions about research can occur and the semi-circle shapes around each circle signify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The purple circle represents undergraduate study. The blue circle signifies postgraduate Research Higher Degrees while the red circle depicts undertaking research. The blue circle is smaller than the purple circle because while the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students undertaking undergraduate study has grown there are still smaller numbers of students continuing on to Research Higher Degrees. The curved grey and black lines that join the circles signify the pathways between undergraduate study, Research Higher Degrees and careers in research. These pathways are all connected and linked – students can undertake research in their undergraduate degrees, between undergraduate and postgraduate study, as well as during Research Higher Degrees and beyond. The smaller circles at the top of the painting signify the diverse areas that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people undertake research in.
Aunty Denise Proud was born in Cherbourg, an Aboriginal settlement in Queensland, and in Wakka-Wakka country. She was an early childhood educator for many years and is a popular international speaker in this field. Denise has also worked in correctional centres, youth detention centres, and women’s centres and has been closely involved with The University of Queensland facilitating cultural awareness workshops and guest lecturing on a diverse range of topics. Her parents along with many brothers and sisters were major influences in her life and more than a few of the “Chambers” family are well known artists. Aunty Denise has lived for many years at The Gap in Brisbane with her husband David and daughter Monique, where she has set up a studio and likes to paint into the small hours of the morning. She continually supports her family, her community and her country.