Rosedale is no stranger to bushfire. In 2019, a summer blaze to the south of the pastoral Wellington Shire town saw over 12,000 hectares lost. Its economy took a hit and it left a tangible impact on the people of the area.
But the town is bouncing back and local artists Sue Coppock and Shane Priestley have recently completed murals in the central Prince Street Reserve that form part of Rosedale’s Bushfire Recovery Project.
Priestley’s work, titled Thanks, First Responders, pays tribute to the firefighters who battled the 2019 blaze and the regional fires of 2020. Included in his mural is a water-bomber helicopter, which flew day and night in 2019 and was key to finally beating the flames.
Sue Coppock’s Interactive Mural provides a series of perfectly Instagrammable moments, with backgrounds that trick the viewer into believing subjects are seated on a chair, a swing, or have sprouted beautiful butterfly wings.
Coppock’s murals encourage playful connection and can be found on Facebook using the hashtag #rosedalephotowall.
“Rosedale’s talented artists have given the town a splash of colour and created a new focal point for locals and visitors,” Wellington Shire Council Mayor Garry Stephens said.
“Shane’s tribute to the town’s fire fighters is poignant, and Sue’s interactive murals are a lot of fun. People love them,” Cr Stephens said.
A $10,000 grant was provided by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, with assistance from Wellington Shire’s Emergency Management Team, to promote community connection and resilience.
While the community initially voted to hold a First Responder’s Appreciation Day event, Covid restrictions saw the focus switch instead to murals as a safe way to encourage community connectivity and creativity.
Prince Street Reserve also hosts a monthly Sunday Community Market which provides a great opportunity to check out the murals and join in the fun.