New Birthing Cards Have An Indigenous Theme

Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Birthing identification cards for new babies born at Portland District Health have taken on an Indigenous theme.

The cards evolved from discussions with the Indigenous community and are presented free to all new babies.

Bibs with the same design have also been distributed to new parents this month.

PDH Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander workforce officer, Sonia Shelton, said the new cards and bibs were organised with assistance from SWAMP (South West Alternative Medium Project Incorporation), which is a local Indigenous community arts organisation specialising in fibre arts.

CEO Chris Giles said PDH was excited about the new design and enjoyed gifting these cards to newborn babies and their families.

The bibs and cards were designed by local Gunditjmara woman Kellie Frankland, a traditional/contemporary artist, who has been practicing her art for more than 20 years.

The newborn identification card has been designed to incorporate a design as the watermark and acknowledges being born on Gunditjmara country. Acknowledgement of the artist, and the meaning of the artwork, is printed on the back of the card.

Ms Frankland explains the story behind the design:

"I was walking through the bush one day with my children, a slight breeze flowing through the bush. My children and I were playing amongst the shadows and the warm rays of the sun that came through the treetops.  We were laughing and playing.  My children and I noticed thousands of seeds all dancing in the wind. The seeds were travelling to their destination where they will begin their new life. The seeds are like us I told my children. Like humans, seeds need the perfect environment, a piece of earth that gives the best chance for them to grow up strong and healthy.” 

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