Meaning behind Brett Sutton’s tattoos
Brett Sutton flashed a cheeky part of his personality when he rolled up his sleeves for a COVID-19 jab.
Victoria's chief health officer made his first public appearance in recent weeks to get his coronavirus vaccination at Carlton's Royal Exhibition Building on Wednesday.
And when he did, Sutton fans snuck a glimpse of what's inked on the arms of our top doctor.
Chapel Tattoo manager Ishan Cooper said Prof Sutton had two clear tattoos - a Celtic armband on his left bicep and what appeared to be some sort of tribal bird on his upper right arm.
"The Celtic armband was certainly big from the early to mid-90s, along with Celtic and tribal designs," he said.
"There's been a big resurgence over the last few years with that design."
Mr Cooper said it was pretty hard to tell from a photo how long Prof Sutton had the ink.
"Just judging by the photo the bird on his arm could be at least ten to 20 years old and the Celtic arm band could be fresh and something he's just got in recent years, because of the contrast in the photo. But that could be the photo."
Telltale signs of aged tattoos including fading and less defined lines, but Mr Cooper said there were many variables.
"It depends on the person's skin. In some people it may look faded and the lines aren't so crisp and fine. Ink will move under the skin and does over time. If someone works outside a lot or has a driving arm, the tattoo may be more weathered," he said.
Chapel Tattoo has been inking Melburnians for 27 years along Chapel St.
Mr Cooper wasn't sure where Prof Sutton had his tattoos done.
"It might have been done here, down the road, we don't know," he said.
Other tattoo artists around Melbourne's trendy inner suburbs said it was hard to say how old the tattoos were in photos alone.
"People would get that same (Celtic) design now, but it's definitely from that 90s era," one said.
"I wouldn't say the Celtic armband was popular or unpopular, it's like clothing, trends change in tattoos all the time."
Nobody to date has requested a tattoo of Brett Sutton's face at Chapel Tattoo.
WHAT DO CELTIC AND TRIBAL TATTOOS MEAN?
Celtic armband tattoos were popular in the early to mid-90s, often worn around the upper bicep or arm, to reflect cultural heritage.
These designs also represent the eternal flow of time - starting at one part of the knot and eventually reaching the end- meaning people live, die and life goes on.
Tribal-inspired tattoos typically take form in bold, solid patterns.
The meaning of the tattoo will change depending on your culture, with bird tattoos carrying the universal meaning of freedom, both physical and spiritual.
The tattoo is also symbolic of being a messenger between this life and the otherworldly- and the carrier of the tattoo will help bridge the gap between our world and the next, and impart wisdom and knowledge.
Originally published as Meaning behind Brett Sutton's tattoos