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Welcome to Dharawal Country: a story of Country and Coast

Welcome to Dharawal Country: a story of Country and Coast

Jasmin Sarin is a young woman of many talents, fighting fires fulltime while using her creative flair to create paintings which tell the stories of her Indigenous ancestors.

The proud Kamilaroi and Jerrinja woman from NSW has been a firefighter for two and half years, is based at the City of Sydney Fire station, and is currently completing her rescue qualifications.

Having grown up in Dharawal country, Jasmin says Aboriginal influences are all around her.

“I was born in Dharawal Country. I grew up predominantly on the South Coast in Nowra, in the Jerrinja and Yuin Country but have country influences from Coonabarabran in Central West NSW (Kamilaroi Country),” she said.

“It’s always been home. We have amazing beaches. It’s where the sea meets the mountains. It’s got absolutely everything you could possibly need.” 

The self-taught visual artist and graphic designer is part of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative and has created one of three Aboriginal artworks which is featured on an NRMA billboard on the Princes Highway in Heathcote.

“My artwork tells the story of my experiences growing up and my ongoing journey in this world. This allows me to bring contemporary methods and concepts to the oldest culture on earth,” Jasmin explained.

The artwork titled Country and Coastreflects where the mountain meets the sea and is a contribution piece to the Aboriginal and Islander Strait peoples who contribute to the land.

“It highlights how beautiful this part of the word is and also brings significance to the fact that there are so many stories and so much history and knowledge underneath that needs to be recognised,” she said.

“It depicts that there is still kind of a fractured history with acknowledging the importance and the contribution Aboriginal and Islander Strait peoples have in Australia.”

The Country and Coastbillboard aims to help increase awareness about the traditional lands of First Nations peoples.

“For me, I’m absolutely, totally excited that my artwork is going to be on a billboard and to be able to educate and promote that we have such beautiful country and that every part of Australia has an Indigenous story behind it,” Jasmin said.

“It’s important for people who live in the area to get what their local stories are and know the local history behind that.”

Jasmin said her involvement with Boomalli has been absolutely pivotal to her growth as an artist.

“It’s helped educate and shape the way I do my artwork,” she said. “It’s also given me a safe platform to showcase my artwork, learn new skills, and meet new artists. I wouldn’t really be where I am…as an artist, if it wasn’t for Boomalli.

“I pay my respects to my elders both past and present and acknowledge that the land we all live, work and play on was, is and always will be Aboriginal land.”