The high dependency unit (HDU) at the Rosary Village in Yennora is home to 12 women with varying levels of dementia.
It was also home to plain brick walls until recently. Enter Patrician Brothers’ College, Fairfield.
Eager to support intergenerational links between school children and their residents, Rosary Village contacted the school to make murals for the verandah area.
The layout of the rooms is such the the outdoor features are visible from the inside as well.
“Some time back we started looking at the environment of our HDU and we were looking at ways we could improve to make it as appealing and homelike for the ladies as we could,” diversional therapist Julieanne Cardwell said.
“We started to think about how we could make this area more visually stimulating for our residents, hoping that this will help create a more inviting and enjoyable space, not only for the ladies of this unit, but also their family and friends when they visit.
“What we wanted to achieve was the ability to liven up the outdoor living area for our ladies in the HDU by an environment that would be enjoyable, stimulating and comforting. We wanted rich colours and details in an artwork that would create an uplifting atmosphere.”
Armed with that brief, Year 9 students worked with Creative and Performing Arts coordinator Tracey Estefez to create six murals to reflect the ladies love of flowers and the garden.
Ms Estefez ran a competition and the class came up with the secret garden theme.
“We worked out the design and put them up on the boards. Everyone had their little sections and worked on it for the best part of three months,” she said.
“We want to build ties with the community and the school is all about giving so when the opportunity came up to give back to the elderly and make their lives a little brighter we took it on board.”
Noah Ibrahim, a member of the year 9 art class, said the group had to work together to complete the project.
“Some of us were sketching, others were painting and it all came together in the end. The paintings are to remind the people at Rosary Village of their childhood,” the 14-year-old said.
Fellow classmate Steven Phan said: “It was good to help the help the community and brighten their walls.”
The project was supported by Bunnings Warehouse and Dulux Paints who provided the materials. Artist Johnny Romeo helped students and staff in the process.
Ms Cardwell praised the work of the Year 9 students.
“I hope that you have learnt a little something about the lives of our residents and that you can understand how valuable your school work has been in creating a lasting gift,” she said.