A project to create a new mural honouring the sacrifices made by Indigenous service men and women has received state government backing.
The Gunditjmara War Memorial has received $49,500 for the proposed art work on the Heywood water tower.
Leadership Great South Coast (LGSC) kick started the initiative and Gunditj Mirring chief executive Damein Bell hopes the mural will shine new light on the significant contributions of Indigenous veterans in the south-west.
"The Heywood community along with Gunditjmara Elders have spoken passionately for many years about the Gunditjmara service men and women across the Australian Defence Force for the past century," he said.
"They have asked how, as a community, we could honour them alongside the commemoration memorials in the district."
The volunteer-led project team are hoping to raise a further $77,000 to see the project through. They have already gained $56,500 through community support, the Hugh Williamson Foundation and LGSC.
Team member Troy Lovett said the significant sacrifices made by all Gunditjmara service men and women resulted in positive steps towards reconciliation.
I am proud to take on the challenge of bringing our indigenous veterans service to life, encouraging community conversation, and passing on their stories to future generations.Troy Lovett
"I am proud to take on the challenge of bringing our Indigenous veterans service to life, encouraging community conversation, and passing on their stories to future generations," he said.
LGSC hope the project will positively impact visitors, support the development of Indigenous artists through involvement in mural and highlight the large-scale murals in the region, including Indigenous Ngatanwarr on the corner of Merri and Kepler Streets, Warrnambool, and Our Story on the Wannon Water West Warrnambool Tower.
Project lead Emily Falla said the mural was expected to be completed by March next year.
"In the coming weeks, our project team is looking forward to commencing community consultation to provide locals with information about the project and to gain input from community," she said.
"The sessions will be advertised so keep an eye out for details."
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