ACU Students' Create Mural for Youngsters at Homebush Public

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
10 Dec 2014

Youngsters at Homebush Public School and two of the ACU team that helped paint the mural celebrated its completion this week

A vivid 39-metre long mural on the playground wall at Homebush Public School created by a team of Visual Art and Design School students from the Australian Catholic University takes children on a wonderful journey of the imagination.

Donating their time as well as their talents, the ACU students clocked up more than 500 hours to produce the interactive mural.

"The mural is a stunning addition to the school and will be enjoyed by our students for many years to come," says Acting Principal, Alex Moussawer.

Entitled "Adventure Story," the extensive mural features a variety of settings ranging from country scenes complete with children, red painted barn and a cow grazing in a meadow before shifting to a row of shops where two children, about to cross the road are heading for the "Ice Cream" store.

There is a campfire and wild and native animals and a magical fantasy land of wishes and rainbows, spotted red mushrooms, flowers and birds.

By studying the mural children at Homebush Public are transported into different worlds, many of which explore environmental, health and safety themes. The youngsters are also encouraged to find letters, colours and numbers in amongst the mural's pictures and settings.

"The scale and variety of the mural images lend themselves to interactive games, puzzles and as part of the playground, the children can claim their space in a social and imaginative way," says ACU's Associate Vice-Chancellor Professor Marea Nicholson who visited the newly-completed mural this week.

The idea to create and paint a mural for the playground at Homebush Public was the brain child of three ACU Visual Arts and Design students, Montana O'Neill, Sophie Tsoukalas and Rebecca Malin.

Undergrad Anna Zhu pitches in to help paint the mural designed and created by an ACU team of Visual ARt and Design students

Determined to put their plan into action, they met with Acting Principal Alex Moussawer, Assistant Principal Brian Lambert and teachers Wendy Owen and Vicki Johnstone to explore ideas for the mural and the type of content envisaged.

Painting finally began on site in September with Montana, Sophie and Rebecca composing the subjects and scenes. Then overseeing a team of 30 other ACU students from various courses who had volunteered to pitch in and help the mural began to take shape.

Now almost three months later, the mural is complete and the kids at Homebush public have a mural that is not only colourful and exciting but offers a chance for them to learn as well.

"The best part about having the mural is watching the children interact with the art. There is no doubt they love the mural. You just have to see the smiles on their faces as they discover some new element or animal of the various settings," says Assistant Principal Brian Lambert who joins Professor Nicholson in her assertion that the "learning environment outside the classroom is just as important as work done in class."

In addition to the talents of the ACU students, the mural was made possible by the financial support of ACU Associate Vice Chancellor Professor Marea Nicholson, David Backhouse of Strathfield Council and Dee Yalcin from Bunnings at Lidcombe.