Traditional murals make a splash at the Mooroopna pool

By Liz Mellino

Two new hand-painted murals will be launched at the Mooroopna War Memorial Swimming Pool this evening, bringing colour and life to the community space.

Painted by artists Kristy Baksh, Paige Baksh and Ross Morgan, the traditional water-themed murals replace screens which were installed outside the change rooms at the pool.

The artists were engaged by the Mooroopna Community Plan Steering Group, with funding through Greater Shepparton City Council's matching grants scheme to help get the idea off the ground.

Artist Kristy Baksh with her hand painted mural.

“One of the things we were looking at doing is making this area more attractive for kids and to be more friendly, and this certainly is miles more friendly then what it was,” Mooroopna Community Plan Steering Group member Severin Duhring said.

“We're working to make sure that the numbers come up here at the pool in Mooroopna.”

Both the murals use traditional hand-painted indigenous drawing techniques to capture a water scene, with each featuring turtles which represent certain people in the artists’ lives.

“The centre piece going through the middle of the painting represents a river, running water, and the top two lizards are my children’s symbol from their mother's side and the turtles represent me and my siblings that live here in Shepparton,” Mr Morgan said.

“The background represents the water and is a traditional pattern of Yorta Yorta.”

Through support from Kiwanis Club of Mooroopna and the Mooroopna Men's Shed, the two murals will be officially launched this evening alongside a collaborative project called the Yalka Yarka youth program.

Local artist Ross Morgan.

The program, which runs at Mooroopna War Memorial Swimming Pool each Friday during the swimming season, aims to engage children attending the pool.

Mooroopna Community Plan Steering Group member Linley Walker said on Friday evenings the pool became a gathering place where children and their families were provided with a sausage sizzle by Rumbalara Co-operative and the Kiwanis Club of Mooroopna.

“We have made it very successful and it will be running until the end of February,” Mr Durhing said.

"These barbecues are not just for indigenous people but also for the whole community.”

The Yalka Yarka murals will be officially launched this evening at 5.30 pm at the Mooroopna War Memorial Swimming Pool in Ann St. Everyone is welcome.