North Coast


 A 30-metre-long mural has been installed on the walls of the new $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital, created by local Aboriginal students from Caldera School in Tweed Heads.

Health Infrastructure Executive Director of Rural and Regional projects, Amanda Bock, said the large-scale artwork personalises the space within the hospital, creating a vibrant, welcoming, and culturally safe environment for all hospital visitors, particularly Aboriginal community members.

“The artwork will enhance the experience of all visitors and staff and leave a positive, lasting cultural legacy for the community,” Ms Bock said.

“These students have embraced the opportunity to share, recognise and respect their history and connection to the region.”

Under the guidance of local artist and Caldera School teacher Kobie Bursac, six students; Ashlea Daley, Cody Murray, Kayden Smith, Mia Brown, Shakayha Cora and Trey Windley, drew inspiration from the region’s rich natural environment to develop the concept and colour palette for the artwork, titled “Journey.”

Ms Bursac said the mural weaves together imagery of the Tweed hinterland’s skyline with elements of each student’s individual cultural identities.

“From concept to creation, the students immersed themselves in the entire creative process,” Ms Bursac said.

“Over three months, they collectively worked on choosing the colours and setting the composition of the artwork, bringing their initial ideas to fruition.

“One student said, ‘It makes me feel really proud; and makes me feel like all my Uncles and Aunties are around, that they’re actually here with me, watching over me.’

“Other students shared that if they were a patient at the hospital, having beautiful artwork would help make the place less scary; and that they wouldn’t mind being in hospital so much with this [artwork] here.”

The aspiring artists are part of a mentoring program at the Caldera School which aims to foster a greater sense of cultural pride and belonging within the Aboriginal community.

The artwork is prominently positioned in the new hospital, leading from the West entry near the multideck carpark, past the Emergency Department and through to the hospital’s central lobby.

The artwork forms part of the hospital’s Arts in Health program, which includes more than 80 artworks, created by 30 local artists across 17 clinical wards.

Heath Infrastructure’s Arts in Health Program integrates arts into NSW Health capital works to create engaging public health spaces and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for patients, staff and visitors.

The community is invited to view the “Journey” mural and other inspiring artworks at the Tweed Valley Hospital Community Open Day on Saturday 16 March 2024.

More information about the Community Open Day, as well as the artists in the Tweed Valley Hospital Arts Program, is available on the project website: