Mural to paint a better future

Local youth will be involved in a positive project that transforms a regularly graffitied wall in Broadmeadows into one that displays a light-filled mural and vertical garden.

The initiative will target the western wall of a car park on the corner of Freda and Widford streets, which is part of the Olsen Place Shopping Centre precinct.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said the wall was visible to many passers-by.

“It was built in 2013 and has been subjected to defamatory symbols and illegal tagging which hinder the amenity of the area,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“This vandalism has made our local residents feel unsafe, and it’s also been very costly to repair.”

The Australia Light Foundation, an Islamic mosque, owns the wall and spent $6,500 in August 2015 to re-render its structure.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said the project would help prevent further graffiti offending at the site.

“The mural and vertical garden will make it harder for vandals to etch their tags, and the display shall be well-lit at night, thanks to globes which are powered by solar energy,” she said.

“As part of the project, Hume will undertake workshops with local youth to demonstrate the real impact that graffiti pushes on to the community.

“The street art workshops shall teach young people new skills in creative arts and gardening, and they will assist any participants who wish to seek work or further education in these fields.

“This is a positive initiative that aims to discourage youth from vandalism and beautify a part of Broadmeadows.”

The Olsen Place Street Art and Garden Project has been made possible with $24,800 in funding through the State Government’s Graffiti Prevention Grants program.

Hume City Council will deliver the initiative in partnership with a number of community organisations, including The Australia Light Foundation, Hume Valley School and HumeUs, a Broadmeadows-based sustainability group.

Students will help to install a total of 300 plants into the vertical garden.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said she hoped the young people involved would develop great satisfaction from their work.

“The participants will all be aged between 14 and 24 years and shall design the mural at the workshops,” she said.

“This is a terrific way for Hume’s youth to express themselves, and feel proud of the way they have contributed to Broadmeadows.”

The wall and vertical garden shall be officially opened on Saturday 4 June 2016 at 10am.

The event will include a free morning tea, and a tour of the Australia Light Foundation.

For further information, call 03 9205 2200.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 17 May 2016

Updated : 5:25 PM, 17 May 2016

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