Nations of the Diocese of Lismore

"Five Nations" by Uncle Richard Campbell

A picture of the Five Nations painting

This painting, commissioned by the Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools Office, represents the five traditional Nations of the Diocese of Lismore, shown by the five smaller circles around the outside of the painting. The five traditional Nations are: Bundjalung, Yaegl, Gumbaynggirr, Dhungatti/Thungatti and Birpai.

The large ring of circles in the centre of the painting represent never-ending learning that is passed on from generation to generation. Learning and living traditional ways whilst embracing Western education, that is never ending.

The “Muurrbay” tree running through the background of the painting is one of the dreaming stories of the Gumbaynggirr nation and is significant to the artist who is of Gumbaynggirr heritage.

The three “U” shaped symbols in the centre of the large circles represent the Trinity and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is very significant in Aboriginal culture. The Spirit runs deep and you are connected to a set of ideas, rules, norms and morals, that are binding all together.

The Southern Cross and Milky Way represent one of the dreaming stories of the Bundjalung Nation, the migration of the Black Swans.