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Traditional mural for Mareeba airport

A new mural has been finished at the Mareeba Airport depicting the natural change of the wet and dry seasons as per the Muluridji peoples stories.

A story time mural has been painted at the Mareeba Airport which depicts the ‘natural calendar of seasons’ relating to the early history of the Mareeba District.

The mural, completed last Friday by Aboriginal artist Ann-Marie Keating can be seen on the wall of the departure room at the Mareeba Airport.

Mrs. Keating’s extraordinary talents have already been recognised in Mareeba after her part in the mural on the walls of the Mareeba IGA Arcade with local artist Tom Cosic.

Mareeba Shire Council proudly funded the mural through the Regional Arts Development Fund; the Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Mareeba Shire Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

The mural Mrs. Keating has painted tells the story of how different migratory birds brought with them a change between the wet and dry seasons; this story has been passed down through the Koko-Muluridji people for many years.

“During the wet, Brolgas and Pelicans from the coast follow the river system feeding along the river and billabongs all the way to Lake Eyre,” Mrs. Keating said.

“When our wet season ends first come the black cockatoos which are running away from the rain in Papua New Guinea, then mutton birds, magpie geese , galahs and corellas are all following the food sources.”

Both Gullara and Jillahkull, Mrs. Keating’s daughters, had a hand in creating the story-time mural which is dedicated to late Elder Mervyn Riley.

Tom Cosic also had his talents preserved the walls of the Airport after he depicted two WWII planes, an American B17 Bomber and an Australian built Boomerang fighter which were both stationed at the Mareeba Airport since 1943.

FNQ Aviation Museum spokesman Brendan Kent said that the murals enhanced the aviation exhibits and that bigger things were planned for a more permanent attraction.

“We want to display how aviation has played a big part in the history of the Far North and we would appreciate any help we can get from the community,” he said.

The FNQ Aviation Museum is currently in the process of leasing a large block from the Mareeba Shire Council to help with the airport development and plans for a static display of a Boomerang fighter, a DC3 and a Tiger Moth in the near future.

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