Celebration of Billabong created in Jerilderie

September 20, 2017

It’s a common sight to see wedge-tailed eagles flying over the Billabong Creek at Jerilderie, and now one will forever be soaring in the town’s central business district.

Local artists Roslyn Lockhart, Tianni Given, Sos Hawkins and Helene Mortlock created the life-like mural — which emblazons the east facing wall of the Jerilderie Bakery — on Saturday.

Mrs Lockhart said as well as a celebration of the Billabong Creek and the local Aboriginal culture, the mural is expected to have an impact on tourism and the local economy also.

‘‘Grants were available through Jerilderie Lions, so we thought we’d try a test painting and find a way to attract more people to Jerilderie and to stop as well,’’ she said.

‘‘It is estimated 6000 vehicles drive through here every day, and our thinking was we may be able to get a few extra cars to stop.

‘‘The other reasoning behind the eagle was Sos, Tianni and myself are Barkindji and the eagle is our totem.

‘‘Hopefully this will bring joy to the people who see it.’’

To encourage people to stop and enjoy the mural, the Jerilderie Bakery set up tables and chairs for spectators to watch the progress throughout the day.

Mrs Mortlock said the mural is also about education of the local creek system, with the image itself representing the Billabong through the blue lines that run along the eagle’s wingspan.

‘‘Not only is this a tourist attraction, this mural celebrates art,’’ Mrs Mortlock said.

‘‘It celebrates our region and informs the community about our creeks that go up from Walbundrie all the way to Moulamein and the Yanco and Colombo coming from the north to help feed the Billabong.’’

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