The Administrative Appeals Tribunal acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia and acknowledges their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the Elders past and present.

Kulabbarl (Billabong) by Selina Nadjowh
© Selina Nadjowh/Copyright Agency, 2020 Image courtesy of Injalak Arts

About the artwork

With permission, the AAT selected Kulabbarl to display in our reception areas because it represents connection, nourishment and renewal. In the artist’s own words:

Kulabbarl is what we Bininj (Aboriginal people) call a billabong, where the flow of a river is blocked and builds up in the rain. Lots of fish are concentrated there, especially when the water starts to recede in the dry season.

In small billabongs, we catch things like burd (freshwater bream), marrngunj (small eel-tailed catfish) wakih (freshwater shrimp), kedjebe (file snakes) and ngalmangiyi (long-necked turtle).

And in big billabongs, we go and get fish like namarnkol (barramundi), kuluybirr (saratoga) and manmakkawarri (catfish). Sometimes we see kinga (saltwater crocodiles) or kumoken (freshwater crocodiles).

There are manimunak (magpie geese), djilikuybi (whistling ducks) and lots of other birds which we eat at billabongs. Kulabbarl (billabongs) are of great significance to bininj culture, such as the symbolism surrounding baby fish and rebirth and renewal, the freshwater turtle swapping fat with the saltwater turtle which represents the connection of the freshwater people with saltwater people and the lily pads which grow on the back of Ngalyod the creation ancestor.

About the artist

Selina Nadjowh

  • Skin name: Ngalwamud
  • Language: Kunwinjku
  • Dreaming: Yirridjdja
  • Clan: Marririn
  • Community: Oenpelli : NT

Selina Nadjowh is an accomplished weaver and painter, known for delicate and finely balanced compositions and the formal beauty of her work. Screen printed fabrics and t-shirts carrying her designs are the top selling fabric products at Injalak Arts. Her weavings are also featured in “Twined Together” (2006) the definitive book on weaving in West Arnhem Land.

Selina Nadjowh joined Injalak Arts in 1999 and is employed as an artsworker helping to run the art centre business. Selina Nadjowh is the daughter of Audrey Badari and Timothy Nadjowh.

Both Selina and her sister Lynne were selected with 8 other prominent artists to create a design for an Injalak skateboard series, and have painted various murals at the Injalak Art Centre. Her work is featured in the pandanus weaving monograph Twined Together, 2006.

In May 2016 Selina represented Injalak Arts at the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam with her sister, husband and brother-in-law. They were part of the Australian delegation and made up one of the 27 pacific island nations and territories that participated.