Australia: Our Support for Dion and his ‘CHEEKY DOGS' artwork
Last Updated: 25 March 2012

Dion Beasley is a young Aboriginal man living in Tennant Creek, with a talent for drawing dogs.

Dion's cheeky dog etchings are different to the traditional Aboriginal art we may be accustomed to seeing. His bold drawings are inspired by life in the Northern Territory and the importance people place on their canine companions. Dion's artwork shows his sensitivity to the humanlike behaviours of 'man's best friend' and captures the personalities and idiosyncrasies of the local dog population in a manner sympathetic to their endearing characteristics. His works explore themes of societal hierarchies, relationships, and the dynamics of pack-behaviour. The images capture the playful spirit of the animals and convey the affection that remote Aboriginal communities feel for their 'camp dogs'.

Our lawyers have provided pro bono legal assistance to Dion for several years through the firm's partnership with the Arts Law Centre. We are thrilled that we have been able to commission artwork by Dion for the design of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

We have chosen Dion's designs because these 'cheeky dogs' seemingly interact with each other on the page like we do in our own communities. They show traits of comradeship, communication and respect but they also provide poignant images of exclusion, conflict and isolation. Dion's drawings highlight our own strengths and flaws and challenge us to reflect upon our human capacity to interact, build relationships, gain mutual respect and create a positive future.

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