Sarah Richards is an Indigenous Accountant with over 9 years experience in the accounting industry. She is an advisory committee member of Indigenous Accountants Australia where the initiative aims to increase the number of Indigenous Accountants. Sarah is one of a handful of Indigenous Accountants (around 40 across Australia) with a professional designation (CA/CPA).
Sarah is currently a Senior Associate at PwC Indigenous Consulting, however in her free time she is also an awarded Aboriginal artist who created the artwork used for the Chartered Accountants ANZ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander scholarship.
Below you can read her story behind the artwork "An Educational Journey"
This brief provided by Chartered Accountants ANZ for this piece of artwork was to demonstrate the opportunities that education can have on someone's life and career, and possibly how developing those skills not only benefits them but their wider community.
My artwork focuses on a tree and the different elements that make up a tree. From the roots to the trunk to the branches. One of the functions of the roots is the anchoring of the tree body to the ground, and supporting it. Therefore I likened this to family roots and is represented by the set of circles closest to the base of the tree which represents the person about to start their education journey with the other four circles representative of their parents and ancestors.
Another function of roots is to absorb water, represented by the blue dots, and nutrients that support a trees growth, represented by the dots in the outer roots. Just like the absorption of water and nutrients is important to a trees growth, a person will require access to various support tools for a thriving educational journey. From my experience, the support and encouragement from my family and a number of my teachers along with the financial support received from my cadetship and scholarship were major contributing factors in assisting me to be successful in completing my educational journey.
The educational system is represented by the trunk of the tree, as one moves further up the trunk aka the educational system, the more opportunities that are likely to become available. The opportunities are represented in the form of the branches of the tree. Personally, I felt I have had more opportunities by completing my degree and accounting designation then if I had only completed high school. Lastly the circles in the tree greenery represent community and how a person who has completed their educational journey can then take what they have learnt back to benefit their communities. For example, if the educational field chosen was accounting, once that person had finished their accounting education and built up their experience in that field, they could go back to their community, take up a position in the finance area of an Aboriginal community controlled organisation and eventually become the CFO.
- Sarah Richards; Marrawuy Journeys