An 11 square foot Aboriginal mural and totem poles, designed and painted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Northlakes High School, have been unveiled at a popular community spot in San Remo.

The mural, located at John Pete Howard Reserve, was created by Year 7 students from Northlakes High School, with support from local artist and Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council Senior Cultural Heritage Officer, Matthew Syron, and Student Learning and Engagement Officer at Muru Bulbi Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, Rachael Powell.

The project, jointly funded by Central Coast Local Health District’s Health Promotion Service and Central Coast Council, also saw students design four 3.9-foot totem poles, located near the park entrance.

Stacey Ewer, Head Teacher of Aboriginal Learning and Engagement at Northlakes High School, said it has been rewarding to see the students’ work come to life.

“The students set out to create a piece of artwork that represented a healthy lifestyle, and it’s been amazing to see it come together over the past few weeks. They can really be proud of what they’ve achieved,” Stacey said.

“The project has been such a wonderful opportunity not only for the students to express their artistic flair, but to also help them feel connected to their community.”

During the ceremony, students shared their experiences of taking part in the project, before participating in a number of traditional Indigenous games, led by NSW Office of Sport.

The project builds on previous work in the area to support community wellbeing, including the recently launched Get Active – San Remo and Blue Haven initiative, a partnership between NSW Office of Sport, Central Coast Council and Central Coast Health Promotion Service.

Central Coast Local Health District Chief Executive, Scott McLachlan, said projects like these can have a lasting impact.

“We’re proud to support community projects like this that help connect young people to place,” Scott said.

“From our work with the communities in San Remo and the surrounding areas, we know how popular the John Pete Howard Reserve is with locals, so we hope this project will make a lasting, positive contribution to the community.”