Community Mural Project • Manningham Uniting Church & Community Centre

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Community Mural at Manningham Uniting Church & Community Centre

 Manningham Uniting Church and Katherine Gailer (aka Katira) partnered up to deliver a 68m2 Public artwork that gives voice to the local community.

“The mural invites people to reflect on issues of equity and reconciliation while weaving the dream of a shared future.”


A new mural by Katira spanning 65 m, captures a compelling visual narrative that welcomes the Manningham community at the newly built and opened Manningham Uniting Church & Community Centre in Templestowe. This public artwork adds to a central Indigenous artwork completed by Robert Young. The project was jointly funded by the Uniting Church, Manningham City Council Community Grants Program, and the Kirk Robson Theology and Arts Memorial Fund and all on the central theme of ‘community’.

The groundwork for this project was a community engagement process delivered through workshops with 4 different groups. Participants were local people who came from all walks of life. These were carefully designed workshops that motivated participants to engage in sharing exercises in which their individual ideas are valued and carried further as a driving force to create something new: a collective voice. Participants engaged in creative exercises that ignited their creativity and helped foster a continuous exchange of ideas. Together, the participants were guided to find key visual symbols and concepts for the mural. By the end of the sessions, each group produced one statement and a clear vision of the visual narrative for the mural. This kind of consultation process gives voice to the community and reveals intersectional and intercultural knowledge.


In this particular project, four main topics were explored: Social Justice and Equity, Refugees & Asylum Seekers, Environment & Sustainability, and Intergenerational knowledge. These topics were selected by the Manningham Uniting Church congregation through a consultation process. The outcome of this process is a powerful 4-part public artwork (2 parts on either side of the central indigenous mural) that embodies a collective vision co-created with the community. The mural invites people to reflect on issues of equity and reconciliation while weaving the dream of a shared future.

++  Group Statements and Mural designs ++


1.1 Social Justice and Equity

Collective Voice:
I am creating a world, where you and I are equal, I will grow a garden where all are welcome
A place here we can be fully who we are and aspire to be, Where every seed and flower will be seen and nourished

Visual Symbols Identified
Receive / flow of water  •  No accumulation  Circe  •  Unseen seed / seedlings  •  Flower crown /Animated flowers  •  Sunlight •  Different Hands /action  • Underground roots • Dual image










1.2 Refugee & Asylum Seekers

Collective Voice:
I left many things behind in my hope for more freedom and peace and I am still waiting for acceptance and recognition. I want to be part of the community. Let’s recreate a more fair and inclusive society.

Visual Symbols Identified
Open Arms / energy / freedom  •   Gates / chains  (opening and closing)  •   Sky •   Tears   •   Open Arms / energy / freedom  •  Diversity   •  Action / figure  •  Hands holding space •  Braking free  •  People Reaching out / supporting

** Group agreed to have the word ‘Freedom’ in Persian  written on the women’s shirt. This was a valuable contribution from a participant who is a Refugee herself. Animal pattern  on this design is inspired by the art of workshop participant Shoreh Ashabi.




1.3 Environment and Sustainability

Collective Voice:
We recognise we are totally dependent on our earth. We urgently need to transform our dominant old story of exploitation and consumerism to a new story where we awaken to being in harmony with nature. Otherwise the consequences are catastrophic.
We are part of the earth and the earth is part of us.

Visual Symbols Identified
River / Lake •  Nature scene (Lush / Abundant) •  Smoke / destruction / confusion •  Human morphing into nature  • Old story book vs. New story book  •   Transformation




1.4 Intergenerational

For this workshop , the creative process was a playful one. An intergenerational group (including children, adults and elderly) were invited to create their dream neighbourhood out of recycled materials. The actions, shared visions and conversations during this workshop inspired artist Katira to develop a mural design that embodies this interactions.










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