ROSEDALE is no stranger to bushfire.
In 2019, a summer blaze to the south of the town resulted in more than 12,000 hectares lost, and the town’s economy took a devastating blow.
But the town is now bouncing back, and local artists Sue Coppock and Shane Priestley have recently completed murals in the central Prince St 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.
Wellington Shire mayor Garry Stephens said the talented artists had given the town a splash of colour, and created a new focal point for locals and visitors.
“Shane’s tribute to the town’s fire fighters is poignant, and Sue’s interactive murals are a lot of fun,” he 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-19 restrictions resulted in the focus switching to murals as a safe way to encourage community connectivity and creativity.
Prince Street Reserve hosts a monthly Sunday community market, which provides people with an opportunity to check out the murals.