Last week at Condong Public School something was possible that I have long wished for.
My canvas was the toilet block and it had the perfect corridor (to the boys’ toilet) for a cave, one that the indigenous students could decorate with rock art.
I had met Marcia Browning, the school’s treasured Aboriginal teacher, two years’ ago when I painted the first of the three murals. Marcia embraced the idea of a cave with rock art, did her research and preparation and enthusiastically gathered her mob.
So, it was Easter Parade Day when I left them to their cave while I continued to paint the rainforest scene around them. The surreal sight of their Easter bunny face-paint as they entered the cave to do something that pre-dates Christ was not lost on any of us.
Their inclusion and their wonderfully supportive school meant that I took particular care with every stroke of my brush.
The cave ended up with glow worms (luminescent paint charged by the sun) and crystals. The girls had shiny blue bling adorning their bower, guarded by the satin bowerbird and his mate.
There was cause for cave envy. But instead the students all look upon the cave with a mark of respect.