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Youth-led art piece transforms Woodbridge underpass

Students from Governor Stirling Senior High School have helped transform a once-bare pedestrian underpass into a colourful piece of art.

The Right Track Urban Art project paired artists Lawry Halden and Darren Hutchens with a group of Year 8 and 9 students who are part of Governor Stirling SHS’s Alternative Personalised Program in Schools program.

Using the theme “dog days”, the artists and students collaborated to design and then paint the 290sqm piece, which celebrates the dogs seen being walked around Woodbridge, as well as the students’ own pets.

Hutchens, of Spearwood, said the project was a great way to give local youth an opportunity to be part of something unique.

“It’s positive being able to share a fun project with local young people who don’t always get the opportunity to do something like this,” he said.

“It’s a simple thing to do, but it’s part of a bigger thing that’s going to have such a great impact on the local community.

“Young people often get a bit of a bad rap, so it’s good to give them this positive opportunity.”

Halden, of Eden Hill, agreed that it was rewarding to see the students’ reactions to their finished work.

“This is a bit of a local gathering spot, so it gives the students ownership of that,” he said.

“You see them walk through the underpass and say ‘I did that!’ or, ‘it’s great’.”

The participating Governor Stirling students were full of praise when asked what they thought about the finished mural and their role in creating it.

Sienna (14): “It makes me feel proud that it will be here for years - it’s better than it just being a grey wall. It makes me want to come to school so I can do this.”

Ethan (13): “It’s nice, and it’s calming to paint. I’ve been painting my dog, Kuda. It took ages, but it looks good. It makes me happy knowing I painted him and he’ll be up there for years.”

Aaliyrah (14): “It’s my first time doing a mural. It’s helped me encourage myself more and think I could do this for a job. I feel like it’s going to be my future. It looks easy, but it’s all about taking your time. It’s better to work in a group, it makes me feel more confident about my work.”

Right Track is a Public Transport Authority community education program that promotes safer travel and empowers young people to make positive choices and become more responsible for their own safety.

PTA Media contact:  9326 2526 

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