THE small Gippsland town of Yarram has celebrated the latest, spectacular addition to its art trail – a mural on the town’s water tower.
A local landmark, the tower was an ideal canvas for artist Heesco Khosnaran to join with Gunaikurnai artist and elder Sandra Patten, to create a monument to the cultural, natural and community heritage of Yarram.
Featuring local flora and fauna such as koalas, parrots and pelicans, it also showcases the region’s top tourist attractions such as Agnes Falls, the Tarra Valley National Park suspension bridge and Port Welshpool Long Jetty.
Agnes Falls is one of the Andrews Labor Government’s 19 Flagship Waterway projects. The government is investing $1.23 million to address water quality risks at the Ramsar listed Corner Inlet site by reducing nutrients and sediments entering from the Agnes River.
The Corner Inlet and Agnes River project will complete the protection of the Agnes River by fencing and protecting the remaining 14km of riparian river frontage where stock still have access to the waterway.
The tower’s column, designed by Sandra Patten, features the five shields of the Gunaikurnai clans and representation of country, water, food, shelter and tracks. The ‘sea of hands’ are welcoming and symbolic of reconciliation.
Supported by South Gippsland Water, Wellington Shire Council and the local community, the tower is now a symbol of hope and reconciliation for Yarram. This year also marks 60 years of service for the Yarram Water Tower which officially opened in 1963.
Local artist Wayne Tindall and internationally renowned artist Heesco Khosnaran first teamed up to transform Yarram over a six-week period in March 2020 to boost morale in the wake of the Black Summer fires. Since then, the town’s Heesco mural collection has continued to grow, attracting visitors from all over Australia.
Minister for Water Harriet Shing said “Yarram is home to an award-winning art trail that celebrates the creativity and innovation of the community and the region – and it’s great to see critical water assets being transformed into creative landmarks and getting the attention they deserve.”
Member for Eastern Victoria, Tom McIntosh said “Yarram has so much to offer for visitors and this new mural will attract more and more people to come and explore what this wonderful community has to offer.”