462 Squadron, based at the Edinburgh Defence Precinct in South Australia, has taken custodianship of a unique Indigenous artwork that reflects the unit’s history and role in a thoroughly modern way.
CAPTION: Artist and Ngarrindjeri man Thomas Readett stands beside his artwork at 462 Squadron Headquarters. Story by Flight Lieutenant Rob Hodgson. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Sam Price.
The stunning artwork was created by Thomas Readett, an artist and Ngarrindjeri man, who was born and raised in Kaurna Country.
The Edinburgh Defence Precinct is in the heart of Kaurna country and nurtures a deep relationship and understanding with the traditional owners.
Squadron Warrant Officer Darren Rhodes explained how the project came to fruition.
“During my tenure at 462 Squadron I was approached by an Indigenous member of the squadron, Corporal Kyle McPhee, to see if we could have an Indigenous artist complete an artwork for the unit,” Warrant Officer Rhodes said.
“Our base Indigenous liaison officer was instrumental in finding Thomas Readett and, after seeing some of his work, we thought he would deliver an amazing product for us, which he has.”
The artistic process was a collaboration between the artist and the squadron members and includes multiple motifs based on the role 462 Squadron plays for the Royal Australian Air Force.
462 Squadron’s mission is to counter cyber threats to RAAF.
This is done by providing cyber security protection while generating and sustaining RAAF’s cyber-warfare workforce.
The squadron’s motto, Nuncius est potentatus, translates as ‘Information is power’.
The artwork centres on a boobook owl – which features on the unit badge – streaking through the night sky with hexadecimal code, circuit-board depictions and a blue-screen hue in the background.
“The more I see the piece the more it takes on new meaning and life for me,” Warrant Officer Rhodes said.
“An owl breaking into the cyber domain and catching code with its talons is the epitome of a cyber-warrior, but Thomas also captured the many other enabling functions provided by other members of the 462 Squadron team.”
CAPTION: The recently completed artwork by Ngarrindjeri man Thomas Readett displayed at No. 462 Squadron Headquarters, Edinburgh Defence Precinct, South Australia. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Sam Price.
Thomas Readett welcomed the opportunity to work with 462 Squadron to create the piece.
“I had a great time creating this work for 462 Squadron and I feel we have collaborated together on the design to create something unique and memorable,” Mr Readett said.
“It is a good feeling knowing that the Royal Australian Air Force members and others will interact with this artwork in their own way and gain meaning from it.”
The initiative is part of Edinburgh’s broader Indigenous engagement, reinforcing the relationship the base enjoys with the Kaurna people and the Indigenous community.