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New library card design – celebrating culture

Saretta Fielding standing in front of her library card artwork

New library card design – celebrating culture

Saretta Fielding standing in front of her library card artwork
Published on 11/03/2024
  • Designed by local artist Saretta Fielding
  • Two artworks were created for the cards
  • Launched at the end of Book Week 2023

On Friday August 25, Maitland Libraries was pleased to mark the end of Children's Book Week with a launch of our two new library cards, designed by local artist Saretta Fielding. These cards were created in consultation with the local Indigenous community through artmaking workshops held in April, 2023 and marked the end of Book Week 2023 with the launch. 

The artworks for the two cards have their own stories: 

Wonnarua Corroborree

This artwork depicts the traditional lands of the Wonnarua people, highlighting the tribal groups footprint on country, as people of the hills and plains.  Songlines on country of Waterways, Mount Yengo and Watagan mountains are all depicted within the artwork work 
imagery, while the gathering circle with 3 people symbol brings an acknowledgement to neighbouring groups, the Awabakal, Darkinjung and Worimi, with whom corroboree was held, through united and intricate social practises, economy, and ceremony on country.  

People symbols flowing across the canvas highlight the connection of traditional custodians and the high value placed on Elders, who were the knowledge keepers, passing on dreamtime stories and life lessons through word of mouth to youth.  The wedgetail eagle sours in the sky’s high overhead, as the totem of the Wonnarua people, showing a sign of strength and connection to country of traditional custodians - past, present and emerging. 


I was really happy to paint the story of Tiddalick for the children's library cards, as this is a story that's close to my heart.   I grew up visiting Tiddalick quite regularly in the Hunter Valley as a young person and hearing the stories from my uncles and aunts.  As an adult I would take culture camps up onto country and visit the local sites including Tiddalick.  I always looked forward to seeing the expression on people’s faces when they saw the giant rock representation of Tiddalick and enjoyed sharing the story that teaches us about not being greedy and sharing with others.  

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago in the Dreaming there was a greedy frog called Tiddalick. Tiddalick wanted to be the biggest frog in all the land. One very hot day Tiddalick was very thirsty, so he began to drink and drink and drink until the whole billabong was all dried up. When all the other animals came to the billabong to drink there was no water. They knew it was the greedy frog who drank all the water. They were very angry at him. If the animals wanted to get all the water out of Tiddalick and back into the billabong they would have to make Tiddalick laugh until all the water came out. The echidna tried to make him laugh by rolling down the hill into the dried-up billabong, but Tiddalick didn't laugh. Kangaroo was resting under the gum tree, he jumped and hoped and jumped, but Tiddalick still didn't laugh! Goanna started dancing but Tiddalick still didn't laugh! None of the animals knew what to and they were still very thirsty. When the platypus was dancing, he tied himself into a big knot, Tiddalick could not stop laughing at the platypus. He laughed so much that all the water came out and ran back into the billabong. From that day on Tiddalick was never greedy and only drank what he needed.