First Nations mural unveiled at Telegraph Point

Port Macquarie-Hastings

A series of wildlife murals by local First Nations artists have been unveiled today on the Wilson Bridge pylons in Telegraph Point as part of a unique graffiti management program.

Launched to coincide with Reconciliation Week, the series of murals are designed to connect residents and visitors more deeply with the local environment and Country and at the same time help to deter graffiti.

The mural is the first of five artworks across the region that Port Macquarie Hastings Council has received funding for as part of the NSW Government’s Graffiti Management Grant program.

Mayor Peta Pinson said residents were invited to nominate landmarks often targeted by graffiti around the region that they hoped to see the murals feature.

“I welcome the NSW Government’s investment through the Graffiti Management Grant Program, which will enable Port Macquarie Hastings Council to target repeated instances of graffiti vandalism – head on,” Mayor Pinson said.

“This program not only seeks to beautify areas that become unsightly due to Graffiti – and deter future cases of vandalism – but it is also assists in providing opportunities to allow our region’s incredible artists to share their talents.”

Designed by local Aboriginal artists, Angela Marr and Mel Streater, the Wilson Bridge artwork celebrates the abundant saltwater, freshwater, land and sky fauna found in the local Telegraph Point area.

Birrbay woman Angela Marr said “the Wilson River symbolises the gateway between my connection to Birrbay and Dhanggati Country. The mural design celebrates Country and acknowledges the Traditional Custodians, the Birrbay People who have cared for and been at one with Country since time immemorial.”

Mel Streater, a descendant of the Wiradjuri nation who was born on and lives in Birrbay Country, said the murals were influenced by growing up on the banks of the Wilson River.

“Our designs were also inspired by my deep personal connections to Birrbay Country and childhoods of canoeing, fishing and swimming the creek inlets leading to the river and the animals I interacted with there,” Ms Streater said.

The four pylons feature the following animals, fritillary butterfly, glossy black cockatoo, echidna, bandicoot, bull shark, dolphin, freshwater turtle and platypus.

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, said the $90,000 grant from the NSW Government will be used to reinvigorate key landmarks within the community that are the subject or repeated instances of graffiti.

“Projects like the one at Telegraph Point not only enhance the local environment in which they are created, but they also provide a boost to the local economy by providing opportunities to aspiring artists,” she said.

More murals from the NSW Graffiti Management Program are scheduled to launch later this year.

/Public Release. View in full here.