• Mother and daughter, Kelly Taylor (left) and (T'keyah) Ware (right), at the launch of their paining project with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Adelaide. (Royal Flying Doctor Service. )Source: Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Artwork painted by mother and daughter duo from Ceduna in SA to feature on uniforms for Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Douglas Smith

12 Nov 2020 - 9:55 AM  UPDATED 12 Nov 2020 - 10:01 AM

A mother and daughter art duo from the South Australian town of Ceduna have partnered with the Royal Flying Doctor Service to unveil their latest artwork, which will feature on the uniforms of the service's Central Operation's crew.  

Antakirinja, Yankunytjatjara and Kokatha artists duo, Kelly Taylor and her daughter T'keyah Ware, unveiled their commissioned work on Sunday at a special event in Adelaide with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to celebrate NAIDOC Week. 

Speaking to NITV News on Tuesday, Ms Ware said she recently became a full-time artist after following in her mother's footsteps. 

“I’ve always seen mum painting around the house and I always watched her and that’s when I just wanted to have a try and I’ve ended up loving it," said Ms Ware. 

“I create my own paintings that show my family and great-grandmother's country where they hunt and gather traditional food in Indulkana.

“I'm very happy and very proud to see me and my mum’s artwork used on the Royal Flying Doctor Service uniforms as It’s a very special service for all people.”

Ms Ware praised the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), who have flown her mother, Ms Taylor for emergency operation's twice. 

Ms Taylor said the RFDS always had a "special place" in her family's heart after she was flown from Ceduna to Adelaide in 1999 and 2000 for two of her pregnancies. 

“I used the service twice when I was pregnant with T’keyah and my second oldest daughter, Kelilah, when I was flown out with early labour pains,” said Ms Taylor.

The artwork, titled 'Flight Journey Line', has a storyline depicting the RFDS' ongoing presence in remote communities where crews provide emergency evacuations, primary health care, mental health care, oral health care and chronic disease management.

"You got the journey lines where the Royal Flying Doctors will fly into the remote communities in towns, and then you got the little footprints there where the Royal Flying Doctors will go out and help people...and the tracks and trails to all the different communities."

RFDS Central Operations Primary Health Care Manager, Mandy Smallacombe, said the Aboriginal uniform project was an important step towards deepening health clinicians’ understanding about diverse and culturally-sensitive patient care.

“I am really excited to have a visual commitment of our pledge to cultural safety,” said Mandy. 

“I know our new shirts will be embraced and worn with pride by all our staff, and I can’t wait to see the faces of our remote community members when they see the designs.”

The project itself reflects a powerful connection between the RFDS and its Antakirinja, Yankunytjatjara and Kokatha artists, first forged 18 years ago.

The use of their artwork will be ongoing for the next five years, with it also being exhibited on canvas in many of the RFDS bases across South Australia and the Northern Territory.

South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall, attended the launch and congratulated Ms Taylor and Ms Ware on their work. 

“As artists – and as past users of the RFDS service, Kelly and T’keyah have depicted beautifully the story of the Flying Doctor in remote communities and I congratulate them both on their magnificent design," said Mr Marshall. 

“The design will be a point of pride for Flying Doctor clinicians, pilots and support staff as they work in communities, providing valuable medical services to their patients, and their families.” 

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