Arnam Liber – what’s in a name?

The name I have given my community development and consultancy work is Arnam Liber.

Arnam is an Armenian word which means to make reflecting my background as a community artist and animateur (theatre maker) and Liber comes from an old Latin word for ‘library’ which means inner bark of trees; a word that’s reflects the space I currently work co-facilitating Indigenous Early Years Programs on Country with Aboriginal Elders, educators and families.

Living heritage is a term that often describes ‘intangible cultural heritage’ such as traditional language, cultural knowledge, stories and ceremony, practices which strengthen a person’s identity and are lived within communities and passed down through generations.

The Arnam Liber logo design concept was created by an Aboriginal artist and friend Leah Sandow (below) who captures the essence of this work; connecting Aboriginal children and families to Country, traditional language, knowledge and culture. The owls in the tree are the children (Bubup) and the tree opening up like pages of a book to reveal ‘the inner bark of the tree’ symbolises the traditional knowledge that exists in Country; or as Aboriginal people often refer to as ‘their 68,000 year old library.’

The hand prints inside the tree reflect the spirit of a culture that strengthens a person’s identity. Leah’s painting incorporates both Aboriginal and a Western styles, to reflect the bi-cultural approach I adopt as a community worker and artist; two ways of learning and working together with Aboriginal Elders, children and families.