Jan Juc preschoolers participate in First Nations mural workshop to celebrate Bunjil

Jan Juc preschoolers participate in First Nations mural workshop to celebrate Bunjil

by Freya Lucas

April 22, 2022

Preschool children from the Victorian surf coast town of Jan Juc recently participated in a series of workshops designed to connect them to First Nations culture in a meaningful way. 


New murals were produced by the children who worked with Wadawurrung artist Billy-Jay O’Toole to create murals of the creator spirit Bunjil on previously dull water tanks.


A second artwork was created for the inside of the preschool, with children designing two feathers each for a piece which depicts Bunjil as a wedge-tailed eagle. 


The works came about from the children’s interest and learning, with parent advisory committee member Emily Torney explaining that the learning the children had done about the flora and fauna of Wadawurrung Country had led them to want to know more about Bunjil. 


“They found it really interesting to learn about Bunjil. The tanks are painted in such a way that the teachers can tell the stories behind the images,” Ms Torney told local news source Surf Coast Times.


Families have loved the work created by the children which has added colour and vibrancy to the space as well as contributing to the future learning of the preschool community. 


Billy-Jay’s mother, Wadawurrung woman Corrina Eccles, shared a smoking ceremony for the school community to launch the works earlier this month which was attended by Surf Coast councillor, and former preschool parent, Rose Hodge. 


“The paintings will be valuable visual storybooks for years to come, deepening and enriching children’s understanding of First Nations culture,” Ms Hodge said.


To read the original coverage of this story please see here