Turtle hatchlings scuttling towards the ocean at Mon Repos inspired the new mosaic installed at Bargara State School.
Bargara State School leaders Lenny Henry and Georgia Campbell said the mosaic would represent the school’s connection with turtles.
Lenny said in Year 3 the students were given the opportunity to camp out at Mon Repos and this turtle mosaic would remind them of their local connection to the environment.
“We are the closest school to Mon Repos and we are a Reef Guardian school, so I think it’s important to have this here to represent that,” Lenny said.
“After going on the Year 3 camp we understand what it means to have these turtles here, and that we need to help look after them.”
Mosaic artist Paul Perry facilitated the artwork and said many hands made light work as community members contributed to the piece during both the Milbi Festival and Bargara State School fete last year.
Paul said Kathy Gordon from Bargara School’s parents and friends committee asked him about making a mosaic for the primary school and he thought it was a wonderful idea to showcase the connection between turtles and the coast of Bargara.
“It’s just lovely that we can keep artwork that reinforces the importance of turtles here in Bargara,” he said.
“And with Bargara primary school being right here in the middle of it all, it’s great that it can be used as a communication tool with the kids to reinforce the message of how important they are to us, and remind them to look after the local environment and the turtles.”
Working at a number of schools around the Bundaberg Region, Paul said he found that the design using small square pieces of tiles was practical for even the youngest creator to contribute to the mosaic pieces.
“That little design with the little squares, we did some work with St Luke’s preschool with the little kids there first and it seemed to work reasonably well and the kids could work in without cutting themselves, and we came up with this reasonably effective piece.”
Principal Chris Norris said it was pleasing to have such a beautiful piece of locally inspired artwork in the school yard for everyone to see.
“It’s a lovely piece of artwork; I like how it reflects our local environment,” he said.
“A lot of our student had a chance to contribute to it, and it will be a long-standing piece of artwork to help beautify our school.
“So, a big thank you to Paul, Kathy and also all of those who contributed during our school fete.”