Wildly talented artist and Enhanced Lifestyles customer Lindy was born on Eastern Arrente Country in the Northern Territory. After spending her early years at the Santa Teresa Mission, a ways Southeast of Alice Springs, she relocated to Hermansberg (Ntaria Country). Here, she met her partner, John.

Lindy and John have been together for many years now, and have welcomed seven children, most of whom still live in the Alice Springs area. The couple eventually settled in the Riverland (Meru Country) in South Australia, where their youngest son was born. They’ve lived there ever since and have spent a lot of time helping their son connect with Aboriginal culture. For Lindy, sharing her customs and spirituality is a source of great fulfilment.

As a proud Arrente woman, Lindy’s connection to Country and kin is important – therefore, one of her most important personal goals is to forge closer relationships with her family. However, Lindy doesn’t have a driver’s license, so that’s where the Enhanced Lifestyles team comes in: we provide transport support to help Lindy visit family in the Riverland region. This makes it far easier for her to get around to areas where public transport does not run.

Earlier, we mentioned that Lindy also has family in Alice Springs. While she doesn’t get to see them in person very often, technology helps her stays connected. Lindy will be the first to admit that such technology can be confusing to use, but with support from her Lifestyle Attendants, she’s learned a thing or two to make it easier to keep in touch. Needless to say, having the means to communicate with cherished loved ones has greatly enriched her life.

Lindy also aspires to pass her driver’s license test. Of course, this requires extensive studying, which requires internet access and know-how. Wanting to do everything we could to help her achieve her goal, our team offered Lindy regular access to our office in Berri. So, these days, Lindy and John will come in and use the internet on the big screen in our meeting room. It’s much easier to see than a computer or mobile phone, and it allows them to learn road rules and take practice tests together. We’ve also helped build Lindy’s confidence with navigating the internet more broadly so that she can better utilise her resources at home.

Lindy’s other passion is art – namely painting. She uses different mediums in her work – not only does she create beautiful, expansive paintings on canvas (two of which we’ve hung in our offices, but more on that later), she also decorates emu eggs. When she attends one of our Lifestyle Lunches, she loves showcasing her brilliant designs and sharing the inspiration behind them. Her talent and willingness to share has won her many friends and fans alike!

Art inspired by Country

As we mentioned, Lindy paints incredible depictions of the land she loves. On a recent trip to the Riverland, our CEO met with Lindy; when he saw her work, he loved it so much that he purchased two paintings for our offices.

Lindy kindly took the time to explain the meaning behind her works.

Berri Office painting

A painting with a brown background and white lines.

In this striking piece, Lindy captures the transformation of the land and the sky during a storm in the outback. When the dry creek beds fill with rain, they swell and overflow, transforming the landscape from desert to water world. The white streaks represent the bolts of lightning that travel across the darkened skies.

Adelaide Office painting

A painting of an aboriginal landscape.

There’s lots of food in the desert if you know where to look. Many of these foods are also good bush medicine – both in terms of preventing illness and promoting faster healing from whatever ails you.

In Aboriginal tribes, men are responsible for hunting animals while women gather bush tucker and medicines from plants, trees, and even from underground sources. This painting gives specific directions as to where key food sources can be located, such as:

  • The Arrakweye or bush plum – fruit from a large shrub growing all over the local area
  • The witjuri or Witchetty grub – found in the roots of a certain species of acacia tree
  • The Arrutnenge or bush passionfruit – fruit from a small shrub growing in sheltered spots near creek beds, river flats and other protected areas
  • Yerrampe or Honey Ant – found in the ground underneath mulga bushes
  • Pmwerlpe or Quandong/wild peach – a parasitic tree growing near its host plant/tree throughout the countryside
  • Snake eggs – in crevices near rocks and trees

The painting also gives instructions for harvesting these and other food sources. For example, a long spear is needed to dig a hole to collect the honey ants – sometimes you must dig two meters into the earth to find them!

Other symbols show what women in the tribe are expected to do, such as teaching younger generations about foods that are healthy to eat and those that should be avoided or are poisonous. Gathering bush tucker and medicine is never a solitary task – to ensure knowledge and skills are being passed down to the younger women, a multi-generational group will venture out to forage together.

Three people holding a large painting in an office.