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Indigenous Art Garden at Rotary Park, Warragul
The Rotary Club of Warragul is excited to be working with our local community to create an indigenous art garden. The garden will recreate a painting as a living art space that people can step into and enjoy. Also called Art From the Air, a drone above the garden will be able to capture the likeness of the original painting.
Our Club launched this new project as a celebration 100 years of Rotary service in Australia and New Zealand. A painting by Kurnai artist, Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison, inspired a landscape plan that now guides the creation of the garden on the under utilized grassed hillside at Rotary Park, Warragul. Earth works at the park is commencing in May to build the skeleton of the park. The Club is grateful to our local council, the Baw Baw Shire Council, for providing  $97,000 into meet some of the project costs. The Rotary Club of Warragul will be contributing $25,000 and also managing procurement and contractors.
The landscape design, pictured above, will help the park becoming a place for learning about life as a Kurnai before white people colonized the land. Stories will be woven around the elements in the design - animal footprints imprinted in paths, bird patterns burned into totems, rocks representing the sun, moon and stars and plants in an open forest.
The paths lead to a central circle with six wooden totems and a low seating wall around the outside.  The circle represents a meeting place for learning to occur.  Moving from the centre of the circle to the outside, seventeen stumps represent elders who share knowledge with young people, the learning that occurs and then celebration of the learning. 
The totems for the meeting place will be made from trees donated by the local milk factory Fonterra.  The trees were harvested and taken to Wulgunggo Ngalu Learning Place near Yarram. A tutor will be employed to teach the skills of wood burning and the totems will be carved with the stories of birds of significance to the Kurnai people.
Alongside the paths, the cross hatch pattern will be created by planting thousands of red, white and black foliage plants. The club is investigating working with local training organisations to grow the plants. In 2023, the plants should be ready for community planting days involving local schools.
In the spirit of celebration, the project enables us to share fellowship and we hope that our actions will attract new members to our club.
Stage one works are expected to be completed by early July, with community engagement and fund raising for subsequent stages to follow. Subsequent stages plan to include the installation of totems in the central circle, plant borders to the paths, and seating.