Students and police join to colour station

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Warnbro Community High School students and staff have spent several weeks painting the walls of Rockingham Police Station.
Camera IconWarnbro Community High School students and staff have spent several weeks painting the walls of Rockingham Police Station. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph

Warnbro Community High School students have given Rockingham Police Station a new lease on life by painting bright murals which represent the community across the walls.

The students were asked to create the paintings after the station’s officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Neville Beard saw their work displayed at the Rockingham Police and Community Youth Centre.

Humanities and social sciences teacher Adam Cicanese helped plan out and paint the artwork with the Creative Arts Specialist Program Year 9 and 10 students.

“The school’s principal Cindy Kerr and Sen. Sgt Beard sit on the PCYC board together and so he asked her if we could do something similar at the police station at one of their meetings,” Mr Cicanese said.

“For the wall in the station foyer, we asked the kids to create a silhouette of someone in their family or culture so we could get a cross-section of society to include.

“For the art in the hallway of the station we decided to focus on place, our natural and cultural environment, so landscapes, our ocean and beaches.”

The project took the students a total of three days to complete, with eight from the class each day. Mr Cicanese said there was potential for the students to come back and paint more in the future.

“We designed the hallway painting design to slowly fade away — ideally we can come back and finish the whole wall,” he said.

“It is good for the kids to get out and build connections with the local community and to be more comfortable with authority figures as well.

“Bringing them into a police station, they were quite shy to start with, but by the end of the day they are a lot more vibrant.

“That’s one of the reasons I like getting out to paint.”

Sen. Sgt Neville Beard said he had wanted more colour in the foyer to make people coming into the station “feel more comfortable and to reduce the anxiety of being in a police station.”

“The faces on the wall is very colourful and it certainly is representative of our diverse community,” he said.

“The idea of the abstract shapes down the passageway is to add more colour to the station.

“That area is mostly seen just by police officers but it certainly adds another dimension to the area.

“I will now look at trying to expand the project, possibly to the passageway leading into our lock-up, for the same reason, to add some more colour and reduce people’s anxiety.”

Sen. Sgt Beard said the project was also a great chance for local police to increase their engagement with youths in the community.

“It enables police and the students to have some interaction and hopefully with give the students an opportunity to be proud of the work they have achieved,” he said.

“I’m really impressed with the students, the work they have done is fantastic and a real credit to the school and their teaches Adam and Ashley.

“It’s been a pleasure to have them here and I look forward to working with Warnbro and the other local schools in the future.”

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