Warrnambool’s children and family services centre have been brightened up thanks to artist Ella Webb and Kalay Academy students

GREAT WORK: Warrnambool College Kalay Academy students l-r Harmony Symonds, 14, Kelly Tokona, 15, Jindara Chatfield, 16, and Aimee Dougan, 17, work on a mural at Warrnambool City Council's Children and Family Services. Picture: Rob Gunstone
GREAT WORK: Warrnambool College Kalay Academy students l-r Harmony Symonds, 14, Kelly Tokona, 15, Jindara Chatfield, 16, and Aimee Dougan, 17, work on a mural at Warrnambool City Council's Children and Family Services. Picture: Rob Gunstone

WINDOWS at Warrnambool’s children and family services centre have been brightened up thanks to artist Ella Webb and Kalay Academy students.

Warrnambool College Kalay Academy students l-r Jindara Chatfield, 16, Kelly Tokona, 15, Harmony Symonds, 14, and Aimee Dougan, 17, work on a mural at the Warrnambool children and family services building. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Warrnambool College Kalay Academy students l-r Jindara Chatfield, 16, Kelly Tokona, 15, Harmony Symonds, 14, and Aimee Dougan, 17, work on a mural at the Warrnambool children and family services building. Picture: Rob Gunstone

The Warrnambool College students have drawn colourful designs on windows at the city council-run centre, with guidance from Webb.

“Being on Swan Reserve we have local indigenous words on both sides,” she said.

“The students also went out into the garden to explore the plants as reference.

“They did a wonderful job drawing the pieces.”

The window depicts a possum, a crow and pig face flora.

Children’s services early years and intervention and support manager Sharon Trewin said the art was apart of making the centre “a culturally safe environment”. 

Kalay Academy coordinator Anne Jane said the girls had enjoyed the art session with Webb. The academy works to engage Koori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls by providing extra-curricular activities in the areas of education, leadership, life skills and healthy lifestyles.

Indigenous females and elders participate and guide the students in activities. 

Mrs Jane it was an engagement and support program for Indigenous and non-indigenous female students to enhance their confidence, self-esteem, educational attainment and aspiration.

“Engaging these girls with culture is encouraged through the use of local Indigenous females and elders and leaders in many of the activities provided,” she said.

“Ensuring the girls feel safe and supported is a priority.” Mrs Jane said the academy aimed to improve year 12 or certificate three retention rates.

“The academy supports 20 Indigenous and 10 non-indigenous girls,” she said.

“The academy has experienced significant growth since its inception.”

She said the program also taught the girls about nutrition, diet and exercise. “It also engages students with cultural education programs such as dance and hip hop.”