A new ceremonial gown
In October 2010, RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health was invited to identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork to be incorporated into the RACGP ceremonial gown and to create a new accompanying sash for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander general practitioners.
This was a result of a successful convocation item at the 2010 RACGP Annual General Meeting.
Gilimbaa, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative agency based in Brisbane, was commissioned by the RACGP to develop the artwork for the ceremonial gown and sash. For more information visit the gilimbaa website.
Creation story – Healing Place
Smooth iridescent skin caresses the earth, unfolding its many layers. Mounds rise up towards the sky; valleys are created. This is the land you belong to; these are the songs you sing. Thick smoke rises through the fresh morning air. Bodies are adorned for this rite of passage in a place of healing.
The Rainbow Serpent, the Creation Spirit, moves throughout the land, creating the landscape. It gives people the knowledge and wisdom of the land, ceremony, song, dance and lore – food to eat and medicine to heal.
Surrounding the Rainbow Serpent are patterns depicting locations across Australia from the Torres Straits through Queensland across to the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania. The patterns also refer to carvings, markings, tracks, scarification and body adornments– what is found in the landscape and people’s interpretation of this landscape reflected on their own bodies.
This artwork also represents the traditional possum skin cloaks worn by the people of the Victorian region. The squares of the checkerboard design represent individual possum skins that are sewn together to form the cloak. Old and new meld as this ancient design is placed on the modern – the College’s graduation gown.
Through this, the RACGP pays its respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia and to the land on which general practitioners learn, teach and practice the art of medicine.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sashes
Becoming a Fellow of the RACGP is an extremely important occasion, and it is particularly significant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Members and Fellows of the RACGP who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander may choose to wear a specially designed sash with their RACGP ceremonial gown.
The artwork on the sashes depicts the Rainbow Serpent with patterns representing locations across Australia arranged to portray the traditional possum skin cloaks worn by Victorian Traditional Owners. The artwork on the sash was developed by Gilimbaa to be worn with the RACGP ceremonial gown.
RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health provides a gift of one ceremonial sash to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows to wear with the ceremonial gown. Three different sash options are available.
Purchasing your own RACGP Academic gown
The RACGP is pleased to be able to offer RACGP members and RACGP Fellows the opportunity to purchase their own RACGP Academic gown.
There are two types of gowns available for purchase - a Fellow gown, with red facing, red cuff on sleeves; and the Members gown, with red facing only. Please check the eligibility criteria below to ensure the correct gown is purchased.
RACGP Academic gown order form
Upon receipt of your order, the RACGP will review your membership and QI&CPD statuses, and reserves the right to change or decline your gown request.
Membership criteria for purchase of RACGP Academic gowns
International Medical Graduate
Parental, sick or other leave
Not in active clinical general practice
Students free online
* Eligibility and participation in the RACGP Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) Program is generally required.