Craig Layer: Journey of Learning

Through his art, emerging artist Craig Layer welcomes you to the diversity and richness of the land of his ancestors, an area of mountain ranges, deep valleys, and the lifeline of the Wonaruah and other Aboriginal groups of the Hunter, the rivers and estuaries.

Each painting is a story that unfolds before your eyes, bringing the ancient culture of the Wonaruah people, and particularly Craig’s journey of discovery into his own culture, to life in today’s modern world.

Journey of Learning tells the story of Singleton High School.


The centre circle represents the school with the Wonaruah word for welcome, anigunya, at the top, and the teachers and staff represented by the symbols at the bottom.

The colours in the centre circle represent the bush tucker products produced by the staff and students.

The Wonaruah totem, the wedge-tailed eagle, soars above, representing the rich and vibrant culture of the Wonaruah people and their connection to the land through their elders, past and present.

The smaller circles with the figures inside represent the communities and families that send their children to Singleton High School. Women would traditionally care for the children until they reached the final stage of initiation. The women sitting inside the circles represent the process of sending the children to be educated, initiating a process of life-long learning. The orange colour surrounding them symbolises the strength and stability families bring to the school and community.

The journey lines symbolise both the territory of the Wonaruah people (the land of Hills and Plains), as well as the ongoing nature of the Journey of Learning our children undertake.

The varying blue colours represent the healing power of education and how knowledge empowers people to move forward without being hindered by the past or present with hope to a fulfilling future.

Story contributed by Deirdre Heitmeyer from Singleton High School. Artwork by Craig Layer. Published 2015.