There are three totems within the official brand logo of the ALC. These represent the moieties and clans who live on the Groote Archipelago, and are the morning star, sawfish, and hammerhead shark. In the beginning the island was dark. Barnimbirra (Morning Star) brought daylight to the island and ever since then there has been day and night.
In creation times, Yumaduwaya (Stingray), Mangwarra (Hammer Head Shark) and Yugwurrirrindangwa (Sawfish), began their journey from the eastern coast of Arnhem Land. On their way to Groote Eylandt they stopped at Bickerton Island, transforming themselves from human beings to sea creatures. Then they journeyed on to Groote Eylandt.
On the way, they agreed to go on to the centre of the island and decided to enter from the north, but Sawfish said, “I’ll take a short cut”. After the Stingray had left him, Sawfish set off with a crowd of many different stingrays, all travelling together, following on after him.
Sawfish led the way, probably because he was the biggest.
Meanwhile Lirreba, the Tide, was growing big. Sawfish reached Groote Eylandt, came out of the sea, and started to cut his way through the land, using his teeth and nose as he went.
So, he made the Angurugu River, cutting out the land and throwing the earth aside, opening a way for him and travelled towards Centre Lake. As the water came in, the dirt was stirred up, and Lirreba, the Tide, grew bigger and bigger, following close behind Sawfish. Then came all the stingrays, still following behind Sawfish as he led the way. Then he went to the centre of the island where he created Central Hill (Yandarrnga).
The Anindilyakwa Land Council’s brand mark reflects the history, traditions and culture of the Anindilyakwa people, and unites the ALC organisation by creating a sense of purpose and place through the use of the vibrant colours of the Groote Archipelago land and sea.
In 2020, the Anindilyakwa Land Council logo was re-designed as a part of the land council’s strategic plan to empower Traditional Owners by preserving culture and making the archipelago economically independent in line with the One people, One Family principle.
Artist Alice Durilla painted the original logo in the ancient dash art form, which exists only on Groote. This story was recently featured in TQ magazine here.