BEAUTIFUL and perfect is how her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, described Thursday, April 25 in Yarram’s Memorial Gardens.
She was there to unveil a plaque commemorating the gift to Yarram of a wonderful ‘Thank you Mural’ painted by Heesco Khosnaran.
She commissioned the mural with her husband Mr Howard as a gesture of thanks to those who supported the Victorian community through the 2019/20 summer bushfires and then through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wayne Tindall, the President of the ‘Friends of Heesco Town’ welcomed the Governor then handed over to Gunai/Kurnai Elder, Uncle Lloyd Hood, for the Welcome to Country ceremony.
“Thank you, Uncle Lloyd for such a warm welcome to country, it’s such a lovely way to start this event,” the Governor said.
“I acknowledge the Friends of Heesco Town and local member Mr Danny O’Brien, Councillor and Mayor Garry Stephens and other Councillors of the Wellington Shire and Heesco, of course, who I have watched over the last year and met up with a number of times.”
“I am so pleased to be somewhere like this with such an appreciation of street art, the gold medallist of 2020 for best street art trail in Australia, and for the town’s enthusiasm for this world-renowned street artist, Heesco. We know it matches our own admiration and affection for his work.”
She explained how it was not possible to include a representation of every organisation and that the images are there to remind everyone of all those who worked so hard to look after us.
The image appeared on her last year’s Christmas card and had pride of place for a number of months at Government House and the mural was then offered to Heesco. He very generously donated it to the Friends of Heesco Town of which he’s a member.
The Governor then congratulated everyone involved in such an innovative project of painting a whole town and said that public art enhances the community.
Today, there are now over 20 murals that make up Heesco Town and growing, all paid for by local building owners and donors. Many depict important historical highlights in the development of Yarram and surrounds.
“The community has really gotten behind this,” President of Heesco Town, Wayne Tindall said. “The project has gone viral right around the world and a recent ABC clip and news item on Heesco Town had well over a million views in its week of airing. Heesco Town is now seen in print, TV and Social Media Channels right around the globe.
“Over 10,000 of the maps produced have now been taken by visitors who come to Yarram.
“The Shire is to be commended today for stepping up and installing this wonderful mural, a gift from the Governor of Victoria.
“Thanks to Tim Rowe, Sally Nowak and Tracy Parker. Garry Stephens (a man with many hats) who as Mayor has been a great supporter.
“A very special thanks to CEO, David Morcom who straight away caught the vision and agreed to fund the relocation of the mural and to Brent McCallister, Allison Norfolk and Ashlie Smirl who have supported us with the printing of the maps.
“Finally, Heesco Town is nothing without Heesco Khosnaran.
elessly on this project, taking it very seriously and making Yarram his home away from home.
“We see this gift from the Governor as being the Gateway to the Heesco Town murals, and with the support of Wellington Shire we will soon erect a small interpretative sign that will give visitors important background information about this and the many other murals in Yarram.”
Heesco then spoke briefly about his life in Mongolia and how much it means to him to have been embraced by the town of Yarram and what an honour it was to be chosen to paint the Thank You mural, and was then asked by the Governor to assist in unveiling the commemorative plaque.
The Governor then strolled around town with Heesco and Wayne where she saw many of the murals, finishing at the one at the golf course which is closest to the instigator of Heesco Town, Eric Greenaway’s heart, and the next day she visited local businesses around the area.