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A Word From Johnathan
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Indigenous commissioned artist reveals the JT Academy story through his unique design

Published on 2 Apr 2020

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Since the 2018 launch of the JT Academy, as a new business, the journey so far has been challenging and rewarding. The team is driven to make a difference and has already grown and achieved so much. As an Indigenous-owned and Supply Nation registered business, Managing Director, Johnathan Thurston AM, recently commissioned Theodore based Indigenous artist, Wayne Martin, to produce a unique design piece that would represent the facets of this journey and goals for the future.

Wayne and his wife Danielle are the owners of Ngurambang Cultural Education and Aboriginal Art. Wayne describes the story within his design as beginning with a meeting place to represent the creation and drive behind the JT Academy. From there, pathways lead off to areas depicting the key values of youth, education, employment and community – all interconnected, now and into the future. Overall, the design portrays the passion, kindness, hard work, pride and teamwork that makes the JT Academy unique and successful.

“Along my cultural journey, I have met a lot of strong cultural men, and this is what inspires my art,” said Wayne, a proud Wiradjuri/Maranganji (Mardigan) man.

“I am humbled to provide this artwork for Johnathan Thurston and enjoyed incorporating his totem, the Emu, and creating something that tells a complete story of the JT Academy.

“It is really important to share our culture; this is something that we, myself and my wife Danielle, are very passionate about, it is the reason we started our business.”

JT intends for elements of the design to appear within the Academy branding and marketing.

“The artwork will be positioned in the JT Academy office as a proud reminder of our history and our future and be something that inspires the team every day,” said Thurston.


Johnathan Thurston Academy pays the deepest respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country across Australia. We acknowledge and thank our Elders who demonstrated over 60,000 years of sustainable Indigenous business and ask them to guide us back on track to a more prosperous and purposeful future.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have passed away.