Daringyan mural a Year 6 transition gift

A new wellbeing room at Mimosa Public School presented the perfect opportunity to strengthen links with local Aboriginal culture. Jim Griffiths reports.

Two women and two students standing in front of a wall with a mural painted on it. Two women and two students standing in front of a wall with a mural painted on it.
Image: Principal Leesa Martin and artist Bianca Caldwell with Year 6 students Grace Wilmot and Mahalia Coape-Smith.

An artist-in-residence program at Mimosa Public School has resulted in a beautiful mural and a collaboration with Aboriginal students.

Principal Leesa Martin said the mural developed after the school’s new wellbeing room was named ‘daringyan’, the word for stingray in the language spoken by people of the Eora Nation.

“We decided that because it had an Indigenous name, it needed a beautiful Indigenous mural,” Mrs Martin said.

Enter Bianca Caldwell from Wiradjuri Dreaming who completed an artist-in-residence program and helped guide Aboriginal Year 6 students, Mahalia Coape-Smith and Grace Wilmot, in the creation of the mural.

Sydney-based Ms Caldwell, who is from Narromine, explained the significance of the mural, which is a gift from Year 6 to the school and named by the students as ‘Finding Myself’.

“It shows all the saltwater countries that we go through when you follow the food line, with the daringyan featured as the main piece,” she said.

“The track work at the bottom represents all the communities that we cross paths with and leave our footprints on. In the middle, there is all the ocean we pass through as we follow the food lines.”

The stingray’s journey following the food line represents the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 when the students join new communities and make new ties.

The mural also features elements from the Aboriginal Country of Mahalia and Grace – in Tasmania and Townsville, respectively – leaving their mark for future generations.

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