A new, colourful mural now brightens the side of the Richmond Town Hall building, and local kids are to thank.

The idea for the mural came last year, when a local artist and youth worker Millie Bourke, was trying to find a way to help engage with kids at Waimea Intermediate.

Millie is a 24/7 youth worker, part of a programme that sees youth works spend time in schools with students with the aim of supporting student welfare.

For Millie, who spends 10 hours a week at Waimea Intermediate, one of her goals was to find a way to help get kids more integrated with their community.

With a passion for art, Millie decided to use her talents to try and engage kids to give something back to their community. Seven students got together in term four, late last year, and came up with the idea for the mural.

The students spent months designing the mural, and then eventually went down and painted it each week.

“The idea for the design was ‘What makes Tasman what it is’,” Millie says, “they wanted to represent what Tasman meant to them.”

The students had a panel each, with one representing ANZAC, one for native birds, one to represent the importance of helping the community and diversity in the community, one for the landscape of the region, and fruit to show the regions industries.

The centerpiece of the mural, two hands, represent the older generation passing that stuff down to the younger generation.

“It was cool to build up relationships over art, and to use something that the students are good at for the good of the community,” Millie said.

Millie says that the project also helped encourage the students in their artistic abilities, “It got them out of their shells, and gave them confidence. It can be daunting when you paint something like this that everyone will see”.

Excited that their mural is finally complete, the students wondered, ‘will it still be there in 50 years?’

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