Graffiti turns to Art as Hill Top Community celebrates new look and safer Boronia Park

23 January, 2024Posted in: Community
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Hill Top’s much-loved Boronia Park has been given a $100,000 facelift to make it a much safer and artistic place to visit, after recent graffiti, and dirt bike activity destroying the sports fields, have been replaced with artistic murals and new security measures.

The community led project has revamped the Park with extra lighting, security cameras, new trees to make graffiti prone walls harder to access, safety fencing, artistic murals on facilities and community workshops.

A special brunch was held on Sunday 21 January for local residents to celebrate the new look public space, to showcase how the negative impacts of graffiti have been replaced with magnificent artworks and a much safer environment.

A kookaburra in burnt bushland has been painted on the tennis club to tie into Hill Top’s village theme of black summer, while a mural with native plants and the story of rejuvenation has been added to the soccer club.

Council’s Coordinator Community Development, Corinne Buxton says highlights of the day included a mural art workshop run by Artist Joe Quilter and Indigenous artist Shazda Brown, musical entertainment by Hill Top’s Kristen Towns, baskets of sporting equipment were available to play with, and The River Road Creative Music Bus was onsite.”

“This was such an important project for Council. It really shows what a collaborative approach can achieve. Council wants to empower communities, such as Hill Top, to create a sense of belonging through placemaking, a way for communities to reimagine and renovate their public places that builds on the social identity of their village or town,” said Corinne.

Rachael Grant, HTCA Vice President, says graffiti around the village, specifically Boronia Park during school holidays, had been an ongoing issue, and the collaboration between council, the community association, local residents and artists is a win for all.

“With the grant funding, significant improvements have been made based on feedback from the sporting clubs and the association. Quotes were obtained from local security companies and in the end, the funding went towards Wingecarribee Shire Council to have their team install and manage them,’ said Rachael.

The remainder of the funding went towards the beautification of the area. Mural artist Joe Quilter did the beautiful mural on the tennis club building which came in well under budget. This then allowed for the soccer club to be painted through a workshop that involved some of the Hill Top youth to paint the mural under Joe’s guidance during the school holidays,” Rachael added.

“The remaining funds were used to tidy up the gardens near the tennis courts and add some seating, which we thought would be a good addition to plans for the area and for the local sporting teams to utilise”.

The project was made possible after Wingecarribee Shire Council successfully applied for and received the funding on behalf of the Hill Top Community Association (HTCA), from the NSW Government’s Graffiti Management Grant, funded by the Department of Communities and Justice.  It’s aimed at local councils to support space activation initiatives like these, to combat graffiti, and promote safety and positivity instead.  The new look came about through a master plan design that HTCA created and shared with Council.