Project Platypus mural takes pride of place at the Zoo

Project Platypus mural takes pride of place at the Zoo

A stunning new Bilaburang (‘platypus’ Wiradjuri language) Mural was officially unveiled in the Zoo’s Australian wildlife section today by Lincoln School, a Department of Education and Community school situated at Orana Juvenile Justice Centre, and Taronga Western Plains Zoo managers.


The mural has been created by the digital graphics students at the Lincoln Education and Training Unit as part of Project Platypus to educate visitors and the community about the local wildlife and the importance of preserving our environment.


During the course of the project the students learnt about the Platypus and the how to protect our environment as well as technical skills related to digital graphics and art.


As part of the project, the students with the assistance of local artists Jack Randell and Allan Shillingsworth, created an idea and vision for the mural and formed a design before bringing the artwork into reality.


“Watching this mural come to life over the past few months has been a remarkable sight, along with seeing the students pride and passion for the project,” said the Zoo’s General Manager, Matthew Fuller. 


“The mural is an amazing feature for our Australian native wildlife area of the Zoo and will be admired by the many visitors we see through our gates every day,” said Matt


Over 20 people helped produce the mural, from the concept stage to the final product.


“The students have gained pride and a stronger sense of self-worth as this project has progressed,” Lincoln School Principal, John Mosley said.


“Community art projects, like this Bilaburang mural, are valuable for building students’ artistic talents and self-esteem, and assisting them to re-engage with education so they can build skills that improve opportunities for life, work and further study.


“Lincoln students have been involved in a wide range of special projects in the community and at the centre, including building kayaks for the Dubbo Canoe Club for use with disadvantaged youth, garden building, construction of hand ball courts and shelters.”


Project Platypus is a community conservation education project that aims to support Platypus populations that live in NSW’s Western region.  The project helps to raise awareness in the community and empowers students to become advocates for a local species by allowing them to become custodians of change in attitudes and behaviours of family and friends towards the local environment. This project not only helps the Platypus, but promotes the protection of the entire Macquarie River system