A recent school project has seen a transformation of the lane way next to Bay Office Supplies in Batemans Bay come alive with an Indigenous Mural. The Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce was successful in obtaining grant funding from the Regional Country Arts Support Program, for the creation of an indigenous mural in a laneway within the CBD, depicting 4 local tribal stories. Local indigenous artist Noel Butler has created four story boards. Noel is well known in local South East schools and is a gifted story teller, full of positive enthusiasm for passing on the teachings of his local tribal heritage customised for all levels of education . The boards represent the Sea, the Coastline, the River and the Mountains. Two local primary schools, being St Peter’s Anglican College and St Bernard’s Primary School were designated a specific board with students from each chosen to feature their 'indigenous themed' Art to their allocated school board. The students were supervised and guided by Mr Butler so that the project also created a greater youth awareness of traditional indigenous 'painting' techniques and the 'biblical' value of story time. In seeking the grant and establishing the project the Batemans Bay Chamber set out to unite the local community in creating a unique mural, rich in cultural heritage, depicting significant 'indigenous' history, utilising traditional indigenous techniques.”
Maintaining Indigenous local Stories through Education 'Bugiya Biradj Naway'
The mural project conducted with children from St Bernards and St Peters Broulee began with stories told by a local Elder Noel Butler. Students then selected characters from the stories to draw to then compile as a depiction of the whole story as a group transferring their drawings to the mural boards. The four ancient stories had the message of how to conduct yourself socially and how to care for the environment for continued survival in our own land.
1. Naran Naran ( Lyrebird) is rewarded with the help of others by being given by a beautiful voice for sharing food.
2. Bilima (Turtle) Bilima can travel for 1,000 klms but always return to the same place on the same beach where she was hatched to reproduce. We too, no matter what distance we travel, will always return home.
3. Wonga pigeon and the Wedge tail eagle tell us we must live in our own place and not go into someone else's. Waratah's turn from white to red from the blood of Wonga after being attacked by Eagle for going into his territory.
4. Bumbi ( Eel) tells us to follow her life cycle by moving on a seasonal basis from the fresh water river and creeks out to sea and along the coast, across the mountains to the source of the rivers and then return.