These seven Gadigal shields were commissioned to mark UTS’s commitment to the establishment of A National First Nations College on Gadigal country. The shields were made by Gadigal Elder Uncle Charles 'Chicka' Madden who, with assistance from artist and UTS researcher Jonathan Jones (Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi), has reinvigorated the traditional practice of making the Sydney-style bark broad shields.

The Gadigal shields are an important symbol of respect and commitment to Gadigal culture and people, and their traditional ownership of the land on which we live and work, and on which UTS stands.

Key reference images for the shields include the etchings of the Yoo-long Erah-ba-diang, or initiation ceremony, which took place in 1795 at present-day Farm Cove in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and was documented by Judge Advocate David Collins in his 1798 publication An account of the English colony in New South Wales. These images give the impression of an extremely significant cultural event and hint at the complexity of Aboriginal knowledge. The importance of the shields in these images, and the desire to not lose them from cultural memory, led to these unique objects being made again.