January 21, 2021
A new mural at WRAD tells a story of recovery.
The mural has been painted by Koroit artist Ricky Schembri, based on a concept with WRAD operations director Mark Powell and depicts a number of key elements of the journey of recovery.
The lighthouse symbolises safety, a beacon of hope, and security. “For the Shipwreck Coast, the lighthouse has a special connection and reinforces the need for a safe secure image to help guide people out of the troubled waters of addiction and to shine a light on recovery,” Mr Powell said.
The dog symbolises loyalty, a faithful and non-judgmental companion that everyone needs to help support them in the journey towards recovery.
The path offers direction, if people are willing to walk that path. It is slightly uphill as, like many journeys, it’s not going to be easy. Journeys of recovery require a step outside of the comfort zone, so for recovery to be achieved a person has to be ready and willing to take those steps.
The lighthouse from Flagstaff Hill is used to represent the importance of the local community in supporting this journey.
The person is not gender specific as the journey of recovery is for all people regardless of culture, race, sexuality, gender or age.
Universally, eagles are a symbol of power; they can rise over the world, seeing and understanding all. The eagle bestows freedom and courage to look ahead and is symbolic of the importance of honesty and truthful principles, qualities helpful for the journey of recovery. In the mythology of some of the Aboriginal peoples of Victoria, Bunjil is a creator deity, culture hero and ancestral being, often depicted as a wedge-tailed eagle.
The sunset is symbolic of the ending of the day and a new beginning from tomorrow. The old adage is a “red sky at night means sailors delight” suggests that tomorrow will be a better day and we should hold onto hope for a brighter future.
Mr Powell said that WRAD sees itself as a part of the community and hope you can all derive some meaning and purpose from the mural. “Recovery cannot be achieved in isolation. Many people with serious substance problems have become isolated but need to feel the acceptance, care and love of other people,” he said.
Mr Powell praised Ricky Schembri’s work, saying he had created a lasting vision that would inspire the community.For Mr Schembri, the three-month project has been an interesting challenge.
“It’s really good in overcast weather but when the sun comes on it in the afternoons the paint dries instantly, so I’ve had to adjust and finish it off in the mornings,” he said. While he usually works in landscape pastels, this is Mr Schembri’s third mural and the subject has resonated.
“They told me what they wanted and to include and I designed sketches based on local images and they really liked it,” he said. “Everyone has some sort of destination they want to work towards.”
The project was supported by COATES Hire with supply of a scissor lift and Dean Flett from Dulux Trade Warrnambool.
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The WRAD Centre’s vision is to advance the health and wellbeing of those in the South Western Region of Victoria affected by Addictive behaviours and to promote optimal enjoyment of life.
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