A series of new mural have breathed new life into the vandalised walls of Compass Housing’s Churchill Crescent housing complex in Rutherford.
The three murals were unveiled on on Monday, which were funded by through the NSW Government’s Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF).
Compass Housing’s tenant engagement officer Melissa Hope said young people in the area had been engaged with the art project, and make the area “grafitti proof”.
“We brought school kids from Telarah Public, Rutherford Public and Rutherford High to help paint the murals,” she said.
“We did consultation sessions out at the school where they painted canvases but they also gave us ideas about what they wanted for these murals. We brought them here, and they helped paint the murals.
“This laneway is so much brighter and cleaner. We are really happy how its turned out, and on top of that the kids have really taken care of it.”
Compass Housing was awarded nearly $850,000 in funding for a total of 20 projects scattered across the Newcastle, Maitland, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Western NSW local government areas.
Ms Hope said the mural aimed to inspire young people and tenants in the area to take responsibility and ownership.
“We received constant complaints about the graffiti in the laneway so we decided to let the kids graffiti – but in a positive way,” she said.
“We also spoke about it being a legacy and taking care of the work. And the kids really have responded.”
Newcastle-based organisation Up and Up were commissioned to design and paint the murals which include a colourful lorikeet, Rainbow Serpent and Indigenous art.
For tenant Donna Wuellner, the murals will hopefully deter vandalism of the fence and homes.
“It’s a very powerful and positive message. We want to have a safe environment for our community, and generations to come,” she said.
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