This week Melbourne will host the first-ever World Aquatics (formerly FINA) World Swimming Championships. In the lead-up to the event, FINA Melbourne 2022 showcased a new event logo, designed by local artist Riki Salam that is deeply rooted in the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, two of Australia's oldest cultural groups.
The logo represents the ripple effect of 180 countries coming together to swim at a meeting place in Melbourne.
“Think about all the different nations coming together in this one place and they bring with them a knowledge of country, so their country, where they come from. This knowledge is passed through water and essentially it’s about all those nations coming together in this one place,” explained Salam.
The significance of water to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their Cultures has been extremely important for over 65,000 years, which is signified in the design of the logo.
“The significance of water in indigenous communities is really important and on many different levels,” said Salam.
“Essential for survival is the key one and looking for fresh water in the desert when you can’t actually see any water is really important to be able to locate that.”
“Water is also significant for birthing rights and also significant for trade and to map out country as well. So many different boundaries around the country are marked by those waterways, so rivers and streams.”
Born and raised in Cairns on Yidindji land, Salam has connections to Muralag, Kala Lagaw Ya, Meriam Mer, Kuku Yalanji peoples on his father’s side and the Ngai Tahu people in the South Island of New Zealand on his mother’s side.
Salam hopes people will see this artwork and it will inspire them to learn more about our indigenous culture.
“It’s very important I think for Australia to actually promote indigenous cultures not only indigenous people, Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people like myself but also non-indigenous people and for them to be able to understand the stories that go with this,” explained Salam.
“I think it's vital to have this artwork as a part of a world event because it showcases indigenous culture to the world and looks at it internally.”
“I think it’s really important for all Australians both indigenous and non-indigenous to have a part in that and have that be part of their identity.”
For those interested in attending the World Championships in Melbourne, event information can be found below:
Dates: 13-18 December 2022
Location: Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
Event website: Stay up-to-date with all the details visit click here.
Tickets: Tickets are available via Ticketek - click here.
Australian Dolphins: check out theAustralian Dolphins squad who will contest the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).
Image supplied by World Aquatics (formerly FINA)