The final gratitude mural has been installed on the Lake Cathie Rural Fire Service (RFS) building to commemorate the efforts of the community during the 2019 bushfires.
In 2020, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council developed a series of murals in collaboration with local artists to recognise and thank those who protected and supported our community.
These murals were officially unveiled during the very first screening of the Christmas production, 'The Christmas Bell',.
The Lake Cathie mural was the final piece to be completed.
The Lake Cathie community has had two murals installed. One painting focuses on renewal and the efforts of the community to protect the fauna and flora in the Lake Cathie area. The second depicts the acts of generosity and kindness from the community to the RFS.
Artist Rachel Wells designed her creative concept for the first mural was to show appreciation and optimism.
"The gratitude mural depicts appreciation for the amazing efforts the Rural Fire Brigade, the Koala Hospital, local residents and FAWNA have put in to ensure the protection of the flora and fauna that makes this location so amazing to call home," Ms Wells said.
"The focus of the mural is not on the scary situation of the fire, but instead focuses on joy, renewal and recovery by the use of bright colours, flowing movement, and the imagery of vegetation growth and thankful animal expressions."
The second mural celebrates the brave efforts of the Lake Cathie RFS brigade, who were awarded community group of the year at the Australia Day awards ceremony.
"During one of the worst fire seasons, firefighters worked around the clock to protect the Lake Cathie community from unpredictable and life-threatening fires. The firefighters' exhausting efforts were eased by the incredible encouragement and help from people living near and far," Ms Wells said.
"There are countless stories of support, acts of kindness, and donations of food, medical supplies, and shelter.
"The painted scene of a local resident and RFS member, backlit by the iconic waterway, is a visual representation of the community's spirit of solidarity during the bush fire crisis.
"The amount of assistance and gifts provided by countless individuals and groups are not to be forgotten. Great appreciation goes out to everyone involved."
The eight murals stand as a lasting reminder of the community's resilience and strength, and as a legacy to local firefighters, supporters, and emergency responders.
The gratitude murals were funded by the Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Funding.
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