Yanggabara was an artist in residence project run with HEADSPACE Gold Coast in 2016.

Artwork: Yanggabara – a Jandai (Quandamooka) word meaning safe camp.

The Artwork on the walls around HEADSPACE was made during Sept – Dec 2016 by Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) artist Libby Harward: aka Mz Murricod in consultation with a team of young artists, HEADSPACE young people and Aboriginal community Elders and artists. The design was developed through a series of workshops, drop in style art making sessions and conversations.

Participants included many HEADSPACE youth and young artists Nina Rae Smith, Jackii Thearle, Annika Keefer, Sarah Hermann, Shannen Sembrano, and Aboriginal community Elders and artists Glennys Briggs, Joyce Summers, Daphne Houston and Glenda Nalder.

The artwork design was designed in collaboration, it depicts that Headspace is a safe space to rest, sitting on traditional country where since time before memory people have come to meet, heal through ceremony, feast and celebrate.

Concepts explored included: Safety – Safe camp, Connection, Belonging, Hope, Healing, Celebration, Tides, Change.



The Artwork you see in the window was adapted from a work created by Glennys Briggs a Taungwurrung-Yorta Yorta artist based on the Gold Coast. The work is telling a pertinent story about the splitting of the sand islands and Southport area. All these islands were once joined. The artwork also features a Dilly Bag, which is a representation of holding and carrying to safety whilst in the midst of change.

Above the stairwell it is a hanging mobile hammock. This is to represent safety, wind and change and also memories and stories collected in a net overtime. Natural and artificial fibres have been woven together. The natural colours with bright colours represent the old times and the new times as well as young and old. Negatives from photographs taken of all the art workshops held during this residency are interwoven. This symbolically brings in what is currently happening in the space, in a youthful way. Weaving is a traditional practice in the area. If you look closely you will see traditional language woven into the work.

Yanggabara – a Jandai (Quandamooka) word meaning safe camp. and words in Yugambeh Langauge (Gold Coast) told to Libby by Hague Best as he recalled his mother’s favourite quote: Yana yehyinbaia  (go with the rising tide).

The surf board was painted  by Annika Keefer  and Shannen Sembrano This process of creating was symbolic for Annika and Shannen, coming from alternative backgrounds in terms of their creative influences and artistic style, they worked together to create a piece which reflected their personal connection to Headspace as well as their interpretation of the theme; Yanggabara, Safe Camp.  The faces you see on the board are Shannens depiction of the diverse group of people who have interacted with Headspace over the years. Annika’s fluid patterns were influenced by and pay tribute to the landscape which Headspace sits upon, symbolizing the ocean and mangroves.’

The surfboard was donated by  headspace staff and represents the surfing program that happens at HEADSPACE.

This Artwork is a depiction of a poem by Aunty Daphne Houston/Smith/Currie painted in acrylic and spraypaint by young Artists Nina Rae Smith and Jackii Thearle. In this work you can see reference to the landscape and the Dingo footprints that link to local Aboriginal stories.


At last –

A place to rest…
where my weird little habits are not a big deal
where I can be honest and open when I want,
or quiet if that’s how I feel.

A place where acceptance is unconditional…
And I can trust without fear.

I feel…
like I matter,
that what I say or do is meaningful…
maybe not to everyone, but to some.

It’s a place that makes me feel safe…
when the carosel of life has more downs than ups,
when it all becomes too much…

I can escape…
and find like minds.
and guidance through a scarred landscape.

To a place where I belong.

– Aunty Daphne Houston / Smith / Currie 10/2016.


You can use it to help you let go:

1. Take something you have or create something that symbolizes what you want to LET GO OF or LEAVE BEHIND.
2. Place it in the box and watch the artwork grow over time.

Overtime the boxes will fill and symbolise all the people and energy that come through HEADSPACE. It also is hoped it will remind people of the footprint they leave behind.

This box references the middens (cultural sites that are built up of shellfish remains that traditional people would leave in an area, they have built up over hundreds of thousands of years) many of these middens have been found in the Southport and Island areas.

Artwork on these boxes were designed by Nina Rae Smith.