Reaching for the stars with a Torbay Wall Worthy mural

A new mural, titled Whaia te iti kahurangi (translated as ‘Strive for something of great value’), was recently unveiled at Glamorgan School in Torbay, Auckland.

The primary school was one of ten winners in this year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Wall Worthy Competition, sponsored by Resene, which gives youth groups, schools and ECEs from across the country the opportunity to paint a mural with an environmental theme or message, to help beautify an area at their school or in their local community.

The mural at Glamorgan School takes inspiration from the Pohutukawa and kowhai trees on the school grounds, the Monarch butterflies that start their journeys at the school, and the gold stars the children receive to celebrate their successes.

“Our mural celebrates our local environment,” say artist and Teacher Aide Fiona de L’Isle. “The pohutukawas, kowhai trees and butterflies can all be found on our school grounds. Waiake is our local beach and is where the children learn about our coastal environment.”

The original inspiration for the mural came from a quote by Harriet Tubman, the famed American social activist: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’

“The caterpillar – as it transforms into a beautiful butterfly – mirrors the journey each child at our school takes and how they too can make small changes to reach for the stars and change the world,” says Ms de L’Isle.

The mural is painted in two parts on a prominent wall facing the main playground, a great location to inspire students. The painting was designed, completed and assembled in the school’s swimming pool changing rooms to keep it out of the weather, and installed just prior to the school’s 50th Jubilee celebrations.

“The environmental message we have tried to portray is, if you change one thing, you can change everything, just like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.”

About the Resene Wall Worthy Competition

Our Resene Wall Worthy Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, gives early childhood centres, schools and youth groups the chance to tell their local history, celebrate a local hero or communicate a nature or conservation theme via a mural on a wall in their community. The competition helps teach children the importance of Keeping New Zealand Beautiful by getting them involved in creating the design and helping bring it to life.

From all the submissions received, 15 designs were chosen as finalists for their strong and creative environmental message and the enhancement they would make to the local community. These submissions were then put to a public vote via social media to determine the top ten murals, with winning submissions receiving a $750 Resene paint voucher, drop cloth and high vis vests, as well a $500 donation if the mural is completed by the end of the 2022 school year.

The winning schools and their regions are listed below, with their designs visible on the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website.

  • Balmoral School – Eco-Warriors (Auckland)
  • Creative Corner Early Learning Centre (Timaru)
  • Glamorgan School (Auckland)
  • Kaipara Flats Primary School (Warkworth)
  • Monte Cecilia Catholic School (Auckland)
  • Okato Playcentre (Otako)
  • Oranga Primary School (Auckland)
  • Tangiteroria School (Kaipara District)
  • Waihī Beach School (Bay of Plenty)
  • Papatoetoe West School was also a winning school, but has had to withdraw from the Competition.

The mural is located on the side of the Glamorgan School administration building, Torbay, Auckland.

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