Lake Guyatt trail gets revamp

LAKE Guyatt, one of Sale’s most popular walking and bird watching destinations, has had a revamp.

The Lake Guyatt Cultural Trail helped teach thousands of school children about local Dreamtime stories, but after 10 years, Wellington Shire Council recognised it was time for a revitalisation.

Enlisting local artists, including Aunty Wilma Pepper, who painted the original artworks, the challenge was set — modernise the trail and make it even more informative for people of all ages.

The result is an even more educational trail, with more extravagant art and sculpture.

The original paintings have been refreshed and revamped, and Aunty Wilma said she was rapt.

“I think it’s beautiful,” she said.

“I came here last week to have a look at it all, and refreshing really is the word; it’s amazing how it’s all been done.”

Col Little, who constructed the metalwork, said the sun had faded the colours, and a local graphic artist had his work cut out for him restoring them.

He added it was great to see everything come together.

“I’ve been working with (Aunty Wilma’s) artwork for more than 12 months, but it’s only today we actually met,” he laughed.

“We came up with the steel work and the plaques, all the leaf shapes holding the artwork.

“The fact that all the artwork that Aunty Wilma had done, which was all different shapes and sizes, have fit within those frameworks that we made, we couldn’t be happier with the end result.”

Indigenous artist Cassie Leatham also collaborated on the process, helping create smaller panels that hide amongst native plants.

These have information on how the plants were traditionally used, and bush tucker.

“When the time comes for the planting (of native herbs and bush tucker plants), it’ll be like a reconciliation project — we’ll get the community involved,” she said.

“To have children and school groups come here, in the future I’ll be able to come here and teach my culture and share my journey with everyone.

“I’m visualising having the Ramahyuck dance groups down here, foraging for food here and learning about the traditional ways — that’s why I came up with the signs, to make it all educational.”

Wellington Shire Council’s natural environment manager Tim Rowe was also excited to see how the community would use the Lake Guyatt space, which also includes a larger playground, natural play area, and room for a community garden.

“We were very keen to reinvigorate the art trail; we saw it as a valuable asset,” he explained.

“From the council’s perspective, this is our premier piece of urban open space in the shire, very heavily used with the botanic gardens.

“We see this as an outdoor classroom, so we’ve been talking to Cassie, and it’s about engaging the community, and particularly the children, from a cultural perspective.

“When you combine that with the soon-to-be-constructed community garden, the whole precinct becomes about the environment, about food, about looking after country, and that’s our vision.”