As published in The Border Watch
Written by The Border Watch.
Cultural Ideas: St Martins Lutheran College students Tayla Doody and Mallory Whiting show their ideas for the cultural mural (Credit: Sandra Morello).
Students inspired to help design mural in celebration South East diversity
A Blank Mount Gambier fence will be brought to life with a mural proposed to celebrate the city’s melting pot of cultures.
Spearheaded by the Australian Migrant Resource Centre, a mural will soon take centre-stage at a public setting to promote mutual respect. The migrant resource centre – which is a critical organisation helping new arrivals settle in the Blue Lake city – has received a grant from the Department of Home Affairs.
The latest mural follows a roll-out of public art in Mount Gambier, to promote the city as a vibrant and cultural destination.
The mural – proposed to be created on the Migrant Resource Centre building’s back fence facing The Rail corridor – will be known as The Great Wall of Cultures.
Migrant Resource Centre Mount Gambier manager Anelia Blackie said she was thrilled the project was getting off the ground.
“The project will bring together Mount Gambier’s young people from various cultures to build mutual respect and promote assimilation,” Ms Blackie said.
She said the project would involve workshops at most of the city’s high schools.
“Students from Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal, migrant and refugee backgrounds will brainstorm the uniqueness of their various cultures and create art to express their thoughts,” Ms Blackie said.
These artworks will then be presented to artists Jeremy Ievins and Sadiki Kamundele who will draw inspiration from the students’ art.
While the mural is flagged for the Migrant Resource Centre’s back fence, the project needs to receive approval from Mount Gambier City Council. She said she was thrilled the workshops had begun at the city’s schools with the first held this week at St Martins Lutheran College.
Workshops will also be rolled out at Tension Woods College, Mount Gambier High School and Grant High School.
“The grant was given to us to improve cultural awareness and build relations between cultures. The grant will involve students aged 15 years and older,” Ms Blackie said.
“The students will brainstorm what their different cultures are and what they identify with and what is unique to their culture.”
Students will also be asked to fill in a questionnaire and draw pictures depicting “things they would like to see on the mural.”
“We will then present all the pictures and questions to the artists – both of these two artists have done lots of murals and have also done some together,” Ms Blackie said.
“The artists will draw inspiration from the material provided to them. The mural will represent the different cultures in Mount Gambier.”
She said theworkshop at St Martins demonstrated some students identified with different cultures other than “White Australian culture.”
“It was very challenging for them to identity what is unique with their culture.”
The mural is expected to get under way early next year.
St Martins Lutheran College teacher English teacher Allie McDonnell said her Year 9 English class enjoyed the workshop.
“It was an information and learning session around migration to Australia and how we have many cultures that make up our community,” Ms McDonnell said.