The journey from Year 7 to 12: CGGS Indigenous Mural

At last week's Senior School Assembly, we were joined by indigenous artist and proud Wiradjuri woman living on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country, Kalara Gilbert, who spoke to students and staff about the mural that has recently been installed in the Senior School Quad.

Drawing inspiration from conversations with students and the natural landscape of nearby Red Hill, the mural evokes the importance of people and place in the experience of our students at CGGS.

When planning the mural, Kalara asked the students to tell her about CGGS, its values, what they liked best and the legacy they wanted to leave behind.

'They told me about the core values of Integrity, Courage, Respect and Inclusion. How their school is a safe space full of opportunity, community, inclusivity, caring and friendship. How it nurtures individualism, and how students are encouraged to embrace their own journey of learning.'

The mural sits adjacent to the entrance of the Senior School library in the Quad, a common meeting place at the Senior School where its presence will inspire our students on their journey through CGGS.

'The mural represents the individual journey each student embarks on when they join CGGS. It depicts their experiences from Years 7 to 12 and highlights the friendships, connections and experiences that they all have along the way.' Kalara adds.

Thank you to Kalara Gilbert for sharing her artistic gifts and wisdom with our community. We are also grateful to the Parents and Friends Association (P&F), who funded the mural through a generous contribution as a result of their 2023 grants process.

Read more about the mural's significance and symbolism below.

Senior School Mural

Arches, Circles, Hand and Foot prints

The grey and purple arches and circles along the bottom represent each year group from Years 7–11. The handprints in the background are the friends and connections made along the way. The footprints are the physical path each student has walked.

Centre Piece and U Shapes

The yellow circle in the centre with U shapes sitting around it represents the graduating Year 12 class. They are brightly coloured, which highlights the leadership role these students have within the school. They are surrounded by a colourful archway, which is the final archway of student hands they walk under when they finally leave the school.

Underneath is Red Hill and the mountain ranges that surround the school.

Bush Tucker Plants

Radiating out from the centre are bush tucker plants. They represent abundance—the abundance of experience, knowledge and opportunity that each student graduates with as a result of their time spent at CGGS. It is what they take with them into the world.

The Dots Throughout

The many dots were painted by the students. They were chosen due to the mural being painted in the middle of winter when the snow clouds from the mountains were surrounding Canberra.

Maliyan the Eagle

Maliyan the Eagle flies high above Red Hill. This is his home, his Country.

In Wiradjuri culture, Maliyan is the protector. He looks out for all the other little animals and makes sure everything is in order. His presence in the mural is a reminder to look after others. It is our special role on this earth to take care of creation for future generations.

Green and Tan Shapes

The green and tan shapes represent Country. The many green spaces surrounding the school are a reminder of the opportunity to visit, sit and learn on and from Country.