A new ceramic mosaic reflecting the local area has recently been unveiled at Karuah Public School.
Teacher Kathi Henry was the inspiration behind the artwork which was created by students with support from the wider community.
The mosaic was designed by local award-winning artist TJ Saunders who is a former student of the school.
Speaking with News Of The Area, TJ said he has a passion for creating Indigenous-inspired artworks which reflect things that are important to him.
“My hometown is special to me because it has a long Aboriginal history and I wanted to show that in the mosaic,” he said.
“The design reflects the past and present and combines symbols and images of the school, waterways and marine life showing Karuah’s environment and people of the community.”
The fourteen-year-old said he was very honoured to have designed the mosaic and is proud to represent the school and display his cultural background.
With a little help from the community, a dozen students volunteering in Friday Interest Groups transformed TJ’s design into the completed artwork.
Mrs Henry said Desley Voigt from Tea Gardens Community Art Centre assisted with the project.
“We visited the centre twice to learn what to do and how in a procedure of steps,” she said.
“The students learnt quickly and with support from various community groups the project came to fruition.”
Mrs Henry said many of the materials were donated and Karuah RSL provided the use of their mini bus.
“The project included our community, Indigenous engagement and the Positive Behaviour for Learning Framework,” she said.
“With the permission of the Elders from the Mission and a $500 grant from Port Stephens Council, we were able to produce a solid piece of art.”
The new mosaic is displayed on the front wall of the school.
By Daniel SAHYOUN