From Ideas to Art: Incorporating Local Youth’s Vision Into Mural Design 

The Sanctuary Point Skate Park Mural design is based on data obtained from local youth.
survey results The Point Project

In 2021, the Sanctuary Point Skate Park underwent renovations through collaboration between the Shoalhaven City Council and the local community. This effort resulted in an improved recreational space for young residents. Following the success of this project, discussions with various stakeholders identified the need to activate the space further. 

The Partnership for Activation

Shoalhaven City Council financially contributed to the cost of having a mural painted on the bowl at Sanctuary Point Skate Park.  The council engaged Illawarra-based street art consultants Verb Syndicate and Firefly Bay and Basin to form a working party to enhance this space for young people and the wider community.

Community Engagement and Survey

Firefly Bay & Basin conducted a comprehensive consultation piece to gather community insights, focusing on young people. The work involved a “Big Brainstorm” at the 2022 Spring into Sanctuary Point Festival with approximately 60 young people and other youth-focused events in 2023. An online survey was conducted from December 2022 to April 2023, promoted through social media advertising, youth engagement and pop-up events and culminating in 135 responses.

Big Brainstorm Results

Young people in Sanctuary Point shared their thoughts and ideas through drawing and writing on banners at community events. Key themes determined from these banners to potentially include in the mural design incorporated local flora and fauna, skate culture symbolism, positive affirmations, images that relate to Sanctuary Point, use of bright colours, quirky characters, natural local resources, accessibility and safety.

Skate Park Survey

The survey yielded qualitative data highlighting the desires of the Sanctuary Point community, especially its youth. These included:

Community Consultation Skate Park the Point Project
  • Fauna, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art/culture, skate-related elements, marine life, pride/diversity, and cartoon/graffiti style. 
  • Community aspirations for the skate park into the future, including cleanliness, family-friendliness, and safety. 
  • Beloved aspects of the community, including beaches, friendly people, and a welcoming community. 
  • Favourite activities for young people in Sanctuary Point including visiting the skate park, biking, the beach and socialising with friends. 
  • Imagery associated with Sanctuary Point, including scenery/nature, the skate park, and beaches. 

SPPS Consultation

In March 2023, the Firefly team conducted a site visit with Sanctuary Point Public School’s Student Representative Council members and avid skate park users to discuss the ‘The Point Project’. 

Turning the data into a Mural 

These findings highlight the community’s rich and imaginative concepts for both the mural and the future of the skate park, showcasing the lively spirit and ambitions of its younger members. The survey results unmistakably convey the wish of young people for the mural to mirror the natural environment and cultural heritage while emphasising the importance of a clean, secure gathering space at the skate park.

The data has been sent to The Point Project’s street art consultants, Verb Syndicate. They have appointed street art artist, Muchos, to bring the community’s vision to life. 

Verb Syndicate and Muchos have consulted with key stakeholders, including the Shoalhaven City Council, Firefly Bay & Basin, an Elder from the community, and local artist Marilyn Smart. These discussions have ensured that the mural will authentically reflect the natural and cultural aspects of Sanctuary Point. 

The artist is creating three distinct mural designs based on the survey data and consultation feedback.

The artist’s three mural designs will be presented to the Sanctuary Point Public School community, where the students, as custodians of the skate park, will have the opportunity to vote on their favourite mural design. This decision to let the primary school students choose the design reflects our commitment to making the mural a truly community-driven project where young people are empowered to participate in their community.  We believe that their input will result in a mural that beautifies the skate park and resonates with the younger generation, who will enjoy it for years to come. 

We thank the Sanctuary Point community for their continued support and involvement in this exciting endeavour. We look forward to sharing further updates as the project unfolds.

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