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Taking a slightly different approach to previous years, we commissioned collaborating artists, Rachael Sarra, Goreng Goreng and Charlotte Allingham, Wiradjuri, Ngiyampaa to create the artwork for this year's poster.

The artists describe the vision for their contemporary work as ‘inspired by the strong and resilient women who have come before us and walk next to us as we navigate a world unfamiliar to our ancestors and limited by distance.'

‘It is celebrating the legacy of over 60,000 years of culture running through our bloodlines, from our past through to our present.' 

AIATSIS 2021 International Women's Day poster

The AIATSIS 2021 International Women's Day poster, a collaboration between artists, Rachael Sarra(Goreng Goreng) and Charlotte Allingham (Wiradjuri, Ngiyampaa).

The process of creation

While lockdowns and border closures have restricted our movements, we have continued to find creative ways to stay connected. For some of us it has meant adapting to new technologies and working differently.

With the artists separated by distance — Rachael is based in Queensland and Charlotte lives in Melbourne —  2020 presented an opportunity to not only connect, but to forge a friendship and a collaboration.

‘We have both been huge fans of each other’s work but for a long time admired from a far. One of the beautiful things to come from 2020 was our friendship. We all had to think differently and socialize differently and it really allowed a friendship based on mutual respect, admiration and funny Gemini memes to form.

‘We had always spoken about doing a collab and when this brief came through to celebrate not only culture but women, we both knew this was the perfect opportunity to work together on something that lent itself so nicely to our friendship.’

While both artists share a contemporary approach that speaks to a feminine strength, their styles are very different.

You might think this a challenge for collaborating on an artwork? Not so for these two young, creative women.

‘We were pretty much on the same page from the beginning on what we thought it should represent, from there we had a few FaceTime yarns, a few back and forth sketches and then we really leaned into each other’s strengths as creatives. We really love what we’ve created together.’

On this year’s International Women’s Day we honour all of the strong women working to keep families and communities safe.