Joel is Aboriginal. His people are the Barundji / Barkindji from the Riverine Region of the lower Darling River in New South Wales.
Joel’s aunt, Sos Hawkins, creates the artwork for the Ride for Joel kits.
The artwork illustrates the journey that Chris Savage set out on in March 2018 to honour Joel Hawkins and to launch The White Bike Foundation. The circles represent each significant town or city Chris rode through (Dromana-Merton-Bendigo-Monaro Hwy-Canberra), paying his respects to Joel, Scotty Peoples, Jason Lowndes and Mike Hall along the way. The lines joining each circle are the travel lines. The background of the artwork represents the paddocks, fields and the rolling hills that he passed through.
The white feather was used traditionally by the Barundji / Barkindji people as a means to offer safe travel.
In her 2019 artwork, Sos has used the white feather as a means to offer safe travel to cyclists. Blue was chosen for the background design as it was Joel’s favourite colour. The white feather symbolises our mission for every road user to complete their journey safely.
Joel’s favourite colour was blue, so we chose a hi-vis blue for our 2020 jersey.
The artwork on the jersey is about Joel’s aboriginal heritage, created by artist Sos Hawkins (Joel’s Aunt).
It depicts the Darling River where Joel’s grandmother, Elsie, was born. Elsie is of the Barundji/Barkindji people from the Riverine Region of the Lower Darling River in NSW.
There are three campgrounds which are depicted by a series of circles. The horseshoe shapes are people. Elsie is at one by herself. Les (Joel’s Dad), Joel and Kane (Joel’s brother) are at the middle one. Les’ sisters at the other and his brother is sitting alone at the river. This is a traditional representation. No white people are included – and men and women sit separately.
The artwork shows what they hunted and the weapons that they used; boomerang, killing stick, spear and shield. The fish is in a coolamon which is a bowl used to collect and carry food. Animal tracks are of the kangaroo, emu and goanna. There are windbreaks along the river.
The Darling River was very important to Elsie’s people who relied on it to survive. This once mighty river is being destroyed by heavy irrigation which continues even during drought. Our 2020 Ride for will conclude at Wentworth where the Darling River “flows” into the Murray River.
We have also included the white feather down the bottom side of the jersey. The Barundji/Barkindji people use the white feather as a symbol for safe passage. It symbolises our mission for every road user to complete their journey safely.
- Liza Hawkins, Joel’s Mum
Nalini produces all of our kit at charity rate. The retail price covers the cost of every item and then $50 goes to The White Bike Foundation and our mission.
Sos Hawkins was born in 1963 in Urana, New South Wales. She is the ninth child of Elsie Black and Ted Hawkins. Sos lives in Jerilderie, New South Wales.
Sos has always been interested in art. As a young child she watched her mother paint emu eggs and wooden artifacts. She started to paint on canvas in her early twenties and also dabbled in emu eggs and wooden artifacts. Sos had her own business designing and making ceramics and art for seven years. She was also published in ceramic and pottery magazines for her Aboriginal designs. Sos likes to use colour and has collaborated with her mother in large ochre paintings which have sold around the world.
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