New murals launched at Lake Pertobe

31 March 2017

Mural Ella And MickIndigenous culture and the importance of water for life are the focus of two new community murals launched at Lake Pertobe today.

The murals are a joint project between Wannon Water and Warrnambool City Council and have given the lake’s sewer pump station a vibrant makeover. They were officially launched by Wannon Water deputy chair Mick Murphy and Mayor Kylie Gaston.

Designed by Warrnambool artist Ella Webb, the two large artworks are in a series of panels painted with help from primary school students as part of the city’s Healthy Moves program and supported by the Laka Gunditj Language Project.

One mural recognises local indigenous culture, stories and language, which is a key objective of the council’s draft Lake Pertobe Masterplan and depicts small sandpiper birds in the environment.  The name Lake Pertobe is thought to have come from the word “pirtup’, meaning small sandpiper. The historically-recorded name for the lake is “Pertobe Killingk”, meaning “small sandpiper lake” in the Dhauwurd Wurrung language. 

The second mural is designed to increase community understanding of sustainability issues and highlight the importance of water in our environment. It features a landscape with water drops forming into circles of life.

Mr Murphy said Wannon Water had now installed six community murals on the exterior of pump stations across the south-west, all created with help from primary school students.

“We are thrilled with Ella’s collaboration with the students and they have created a fantastic piece that the community can be proud of.”

“This project really got the young artists thinking about how water services are part of their everyday lives and the importance of protecting our precious water resources,” Mr Murphy said. “We’re delighted that the final product will be on display in our community for many years to come.”

Ms Webb welcomed the opportunity to involve the council’s Healthy Moves Ambassadors from primary schools across Warrnambool and brighten a previously drab facade.

“The artwork gives vibrancy to an important piece of infrastructure by exhibiting the themes of how important water is for not only Lake Pertobe’s natural landscape, but also for how visitors interact with the area,” Ms Webb said.

Cr Gaston said the strong community links made the murals stand out.

“The promotion of the fact that the word ‘Pertobe’ is derived from a local indigenous word for small sandpiper adds a new level of understanding to this unique precinct,” she said.

“Ella is such a talented artist, and it’s fantastic to see that more than 70 school children had a hand in the creation of the murals.

“These murals will enhance the experience at Lake Pertobe for all visitors, while they are also exquisite additions to Warrnambool’s burgeoning street art trail.”