Insights: Article

The Journey to Reconciliation Starts with Conversation: First Nations artist Sean Kinchela’s Vision for Kinetic IT Reconciliation Action Plan artwork

Sean Kinchela explains the inner workings of his new piece, titled ‘Kinetic IT Reflection’, created with Kinetic IT as part of ongoing conversations around reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“I wanted to create an artwork that captured the beginning of a journey; the significance of connection, belonging, and feeling safe,” Kinchela said. “Everyone wants to work in a safe environment and feel comfortable in who they are as a person, their family, and heritage.”

The Gamilaroi and Wiradjuri artist, born on Gundungurra Country, is known for his innovative techniques that blend traditional First Nations art and storytelling with digital design methodologies. His journey as an artist is deeply rooted in exploring identity, drawing inspiration from his family’s cultural heritage and contributing to the ongoing dialogue of First Nations artistry.

Kinchela’s approach to the ‘Kinetic IT Reflection’ artwork encapsulates the rich tapestry of diverse backgrounds at Kinetic IT and embodies the earnest desire to initiate conversations around reconciliation.

“The concept behind the artwork is the idea that Kinetic IT is a culturally safe space for everyone – First Nations people and non-First Nations allies. It’s about the aspirations of the collective community to begin a dialogue around reconciliation.”

Kinetic IT Reconciliation Action Plan
Gamilaroi and Wiradjuri artist Sean Kinchela says the Kinetic IT Reflection piece captures “the beginning of a journey; the significance of connection, belonging, and feeling safe.” Credit: Sean Kinchela

Central Focus: The Yarning Circle

At the heart of the artwork is a powerful yarning circle – a meeting place and focal point for open and honest conversations. The red circle, reminiscent of the Kinetic IT logo, underscores the company’s commitment to improving First Nations representation in the IT industry and reconciliation on a national scale.

This commitment is part of the larger Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion fabric at Kinetic IT, driven by dedicated and passionate members of the crew. This fabric includes the newly formed Deadly Mob community and the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group, responsible for the creation of the artwork with Kinchela and First Nations-led creative studio Nani Creative.

“In the centre of the artwork around the meeting place, we see people symbolised in different colours and patterns,” explains Kinchela. “These symbols represent the diversity of the crew. Behind the symbols are shields, showing that people have gathered and left their shields outside the meeting place. This conveys the idea of being able to let down your guard and feel comfortable and safe in that meeting place.”

Community Connections: Red Circles Beyond

Extending from the meeting place are additional red circles, representing the broader communities Kinetic IT engages with across Australia. These circles illustrate how the places we work, the connections we form, and the knowledge we gain are all brought back to the central yarning circle. The crosshatching on the sides reinforces the strength of these ties, framing the yarning circle as a symbol of unity. Kinchela sees all these elements as essential to conveying a message of unity and inclusion.

“I believe art and storytelling will play a huge part in bringing understanding to First Nations and non-First Nations people. When you look at a painting, the story the artist is telling is there, but viewers may also relate to it in other ways subconsciously.”


Appreciating the significant impact of the artwork, Chief Executive Michael North added:

“This amazing artwork is now part of Kinetic IT’s history, marking a chapter where we highlight our dedication to diversity, inclusion, and understanding.

“Sean has perfectly captured the essence of our commitment to reconciliation. His work reminds us to have open conversations and build connections beyond our varied backgrounds and viewpoints.

Kinchela hopes this artwork will be an important part of the ongoing conversation.

“I hope people can let their guards down, learn about their coworkers’ cultures from both perspectives of First Nations and non-First Nations people. It’s necessary to help close the gap of racism, be proud of our country and our culture – which is the oldest living culture in the world – and build a brighter future together.”

About Sean Kinchela

Sean Kinchela, born on Gundungurra Country, is a Gamilaroi and Wiradjuri artist whose work transcends traditional Indigenous art, combining acrylics and canvases to paint vivid depictions of cultural narratives and landscapes.

With a background in digital design and a passion for pushing the boundaries of contemporary Indigenous art, Sean has pioneered innovative techniques that blend traditional storytelling with digital proficiency. His artistic journey is deeply rooted in the exploration of identity, drawing inspiration from his family’s cultural heritage and contributing to the ongoing dialogue of First Nations artistry.

Sean is a true innovator for modern digital art. He has garnered acclaim for his familial and cultural heritage-themed installations, all of which have made a mark on the Indigenous art scene. His impressive portfolio represents a commitment to creating visually stunning and culturally relevant works of art that transcends boundaries.

When he’s not painting, designing, or telling stories through his art, Sean actively engages in community outreach programs and digital storytelling workshops, connecting with the wider public and contributing to the Indigenous knowledge transfer. His efforts in promoting cultural understanding and digital literacy have earned him recognition as an Ambassador of Health Workforce Indigenous Programs at Katoomba Aboriginal Medical Service.

Sean’s work not only captivates audiences through painting, designing, and storytelling but also serves as a bridge between traditional Indigenous practices and contemporary digital expressions. His journey continues to inspire, making him a significant figure in the vibrant landscape of Indigenous artistry and cultural preservation.

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