ETB Travel News Brand Ambassador Chern’ee Sutton
When and why did you join the industry?
I’ve always loved art ever since I was a young girl, but I started working professionally in the art industry when I was about 13 years old. I entered an art competition and came first in the open category, it was that competition that sparked my passion for art and my career has just snowballed ever since.
What do you like most about your job?
I love my job and I’m extremely lucky to be able to have my passion as my career, I love being able to express myself through my art and sharing my culture, history and stories with the world. I also love travelling with my paintings and meeting people from all walks of life.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
Most recently I was lucky enough to be involved in the Commonwealth Games, I designed the indigenous component to the Games mascot Borobi and was commissioned by the city of the Gold Coast to create a painting for Prince Charles as a gift from Australia. I also created 2 very large interactive art pieces for the games, the first was 14 meters long and took over 6 months to complete with 20,000 volunteers who applied to be a part of the games adding their fingerprints to the painting. The second piece was 9 meters long and I finished that at the athlete’s village for the duration of the commonwealth games with athletes and dignitaries from around the world contributing to that piece. Now that it’s completed, the painting will go on a touring exhibition all around Australia start and the Royal Australian mint.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
The best advice ever given to me was from my Dad who told me that “If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to work hard for it. Nothing in life is free and go above and beyond what is expected of you.”
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
My biggest role models in the arts are Albert Namatjira and Jessica Mauboy, both are extremely skilled in their fields and share their talents with the world. Albert was an incredible artist who broke the boundaries in Indigenous art, whose artwork are loved and admired to this day. Jessica Mauboy is a strong female leader who has worked hard to get where she is, she is known all around the world but hasn’t forgotten where she comes from, she has managed to remain humble and still continues to give back to community.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
The Chern’ee Sutton brand represents a unique Australian product which is a 100% authentic aboriginal business, the logo itself represents quality products, merchandise and artworks appealing to collectors from around the world.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
I love travelling and would love to travel all around the world, but at the very top of my travelling bucket list are Paris, New York and Dubai exhibiting my art wherever I go. I also want to travel around Australia, in particular to Uluru and the Kimberleys.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
Being an Australia Day ambassador is always a memorable experience, I love travelling to smaller outback towns that I wouldn’t normally pass through, places like Wandoan, Muttaburra, Barcaldine and Charters Towers. The people are always friendly and welcoming, the hospitality is amazing, the sights are unique and beautiful and the whole experience is always lots of fun.
My favorite part of any experience though would have to be the food, especially if its sweet or dessert related.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
When travelling the three things that I always take with me are my phone, handbag and painting/drawing tools. I never travel without my phone, not only does it keep me connected to my friends, family and the news, but it also has my music, my emails and of course my camera which I use to get hundreds of photos of my travels. My handbag is a bottomless pit, it contains everything that I’ll need for every situation and even for ‘Just in case’. My makeup, sunnies, wallet, chargers, Panadol, notepad, cards and perfume, the list goes on! It is definitely a necessity on my travels. Last but not least, I always bring my painting tools because you never know when inspiration will strike for my next art piece.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I’d love to swim with Jason Mamoa (Aquaman) on the Great Barrier Reef, it’s the most beautiful reef in the world bustling with life and colours (and plenty of inspiration for future paintings) imagine all the amazing sights and sea life I would see with Aquaman by my side!
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
The direction that I see the tourism industry heading in the future is tourists travelling from around the world to Australia, to enjoy the authentic Australian experience and to be immersed by over 60,000 of Aboriginal culture and history. Tasting the bush tucker, hearing the echo of the didgeridoo and corroboree, smelling the essence of the smoking ceremony and seeing the aboriginal art which is so unique and iconic to Australia.