THE spirit of NAIDOC Week, which taps into the strength and richness of indigenous culture, came alive at Tewantin in the form of Pomona's Jandamarra Cadd.
And more importantly, in the powerful images of this Aboriginal portrait artist's subjects as he helped the Sunshine Coast TAFE launch it's Certificate III in Community Services Work - Caring for Our Mob.
The vocational initiative undertaken in partnership with United Synergies aims to increase education and community and health employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
JANDAMARRA has a simple message made powerful by his choice of depicting people he described as "warriors" who have rejected the negative path of violent reaction to the grave injustices heaped upon them.
"Each of these subjects have gone through hardship in their lives. A lot of Aboriginal people have learnt to live with this," he said.
"They are walking through life as heart warriors."
And Jandamarra has met few more powerful role models than Uncle Bob Randall, who is the subject of his Sorry painting.
The Noosa man and his family were invited to Uluru to the home of Uncle Bob, one of the Stolen Generation, before Jandamarra "channelled" a powerful depiction of the dark and light of his existence.
Jandamarra said Uncle Bob's story was about "a severing of connection to land" which lasted for three decades.
"He was taken away at the age of six-years-old. His last memory of his mum was of her being punched and kicked to the ground.
"He had chains immediately put around his neck."
Uncle Bob was made to walk 480km to a police station, while being fed bread and water. That he rose above this to become a leader of his people, inspires Jandamarra, as do the lives of people like activist Mick Dodson and Sir Douglas Nichols, a Yorta Yorta man and gifted AFL player who became Governor of South Australia.
Jandamarra met with local TAFE students to pass on the values he has absorbed from his many subjects, a colourful cultural osmosis not unlike the rich pigments he mixes.
"If I had one thing to offer you, it's follow your heart rather than try to make money," Jandamarra told the students.