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Students brush graffiti aside

South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) students are collaborating with the WA Police Graffiti Team to replace unsightly vandalism with artistic murals.

The first targets for improvement are telecommunication huts along the Kwinana Freeway in South Perth, which have warranted a large volume of complaints.

The task of revitalising this visually unappealing area is being undertaken by students studying a Certificate II in General Education for Adults (CGEA) or a Certificate I in Gaining Access to Training and Education (GATE).

GATE and CGEA are bridging programs at SM TAFE for disengaged young people who have struggled, for a wide range of reasons, with mainstream education. 

The programs offer literacy and numeracy development and support in a safe, adult learning-environment. The programs also assist young people with career, education and employment pathways as well as improving their employability skills through engagement with community-based projects. 

CGEA student Jannita Hunter said everyone involved in the project had contributed and benefited in equal measure.

“The project has been really awesome and along the way we have been learning about painting techniques and how to care for paint brushes and equipment.” 

The telecommunication huts had become a regular target for local vandals and the murals are designed to eradicate graffiti and reduce the anti-social behaviour the site attracts.

The murals are inspired by the surrounding landscape and incorporate design elements from the river, native flora and fauna, and the golf course. The students have deployed an urban art tone that coveys humour and meaning with colour and skillful technique. 

The students learn a combination of painting skills with brushes, stencils and aerosol paint. 

The collaboration, which has also involved generous support from Telstra, Vodafone, Optus and the City of South Perth, will give the students a valuable opportunity to improve their communication and employability skills.

As well as enhancing the amenity of the area for thousands of commuters and cyclists, the completed mural will instil in the artists a sense of pride, ownership and belonging within the community. 

CGEA students involved in the project include Alanna Quinlan, Chelsea Haywood, Rachel Kenny, Cinque Crimson-Brothers, Melissa David, Chris Martella, Cameron Cook, Nash Miller, Peter Mitcham, Hannah Lindsay, Mitchell Vaughan, Jannita Hunter, Lucas Paparone, Joseph Brown and Kylie Pinchback.

GATE students include Jady Field, Matthew Mitchell, James Georgieff, Britney Fernandes, Rhian Ryan, Recardo Chuang, Jordan Grant, Maddison Jones, Kiara Roach, Zarah Rawlings and Caitlin Robinson-Bethell.

Recently named the WA Large Training Provider of the Year, SM TAFE was formed this year from the merging of Challenger Institute of Technology and Polytechnic West, creating one of Western Australia’s most diverse training providers offering more than 500 qualifications.

From Carlisle to Mandurah and Armadale to Fremantle, SM TAFE’s 17 campuses offer vocational education opportunities for thousands of West Australians. 

Page last updated December 19, 2016