Keppel Sands residents helping to brighten up the town.
Keppel Sands residents helping to brighten up the town.

Keppel Sands touches up town with art, community projects

A collaboration between Carinity Education Rockhampton and Keppel Sands residents is uniting the coastal community in brightening up its town.

The Community Recovery Challenge, a series of free group activities, training, and education was made possible by a recovery grant given to Carinity, which decided to pass on the received money to anybody committed to making Keppel Sands more colourful and resilient.

It includes painting telephone poles, holding workshops at the local “Ko-Op”, and reconstructing buildings affected by Cyclone Marcia.

One volunteer has even landscaped the path down to the beach by clearing weeds and building benches out of logs (along the path residents have put soft toys in trees, first to ward off brushturkeys, now for decoration).

Artist Terry Sykes, who has painted several telephone poles, said perhaps 50 people out of the town’s 400 or so were contributing in their own way.

“It makes everybody feel better,” he said.

“There’s a real pride in town.

“When I’m sitting there painting, I’ll have 20 people in a day in a small little town drop by and have a little bit of a chat, and they walk off with a smile on their face.

It’s beautifying the town, and the overriding theme in my mind is ‘Paradise in the South Pacific.’”

He said he wanted to represent the community and local service organisations with his art.

“All of the posts I do are a result of conversations with people that live here,” Mr Sykes said.

“A lot of people are retirees that are looking for something to do, and they just contribute their little bit to the community. It’s lovely.”

Kelly-Dee Knight designs much of the art placed around Keppel Sands.
Kelly-Dee Knight designs much of the art placed around Keppel Sands.

Carinity Education Rockhampton principal Lyn Harland said that about $16,000 had been spent on the beautification project.

The grant money expires at the end of March.

“By then we’ve had possibly around 35 different events or interaction with the community over the period of a year with the grant funding that we received,” Ms Harland said.

“Any voices that we heard in the community, that ‘Hey we need a bit of a hand over here,’ or ‘Can you help us with this,’ … We’ve just gone to seek out those individual people and help support them on their journey.

“It’s just been able to really give back to the community and help a variety of programs all about building resilience and how we can recover quickly next time we have any form of disaster or crisis.”



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