SAFER FOR KIDS: Captain Gregg Miller and artist Narani Henson with the mural.
SAFER FOR KIDS: Captain Gregg Miller and artist Narani Henson with the mural. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Firies hose off graffiti

BYRON Bay Rural Fire Brigade's Suffolk Park headquarters have come up with a bright new plan to stop their shed and the nearby children's playground from being targeted by graffiti.

The fire station has done this by commissioning an artist to paint a 2m high mural on the back wall of their shed that faces the playground.

After repeatedly painting over graffiti and putting up warning signs around the playground in an attempt to deter the criminals, the team at the station turned to a mural to create a safer environment for children who play at the park.

Suffolk Park Rural Fire Brigade captain Gregg Wilson said he was "sick and tired" of seeing profanity and inappropriate images tagged on the back wall of the station.

He decided the next step would be to commission local artist Narani Henson to create the work which features a fireman - who looks alarmingly similar to Mr Wilson - and Australian wildlife.

Mr Wilson said the fire crew hoped the artwork would bring new life to the park.

"We wanted to create something the children would like but we also hope it will deter graffiti artists who deface the children's playground or drink in the park," Mr Wilson said.

"I know graffiti 'artists' have an unofficial rule where they don't destroy another person's work and I hope that transfers to the mural we've had painted, too."

Ms Henson is a mother whose young daughter and friends play at the park.

She said she hopes the mural will make the park a safer place for her children to play.

"It goes without saying that it's important to every parent to make sure their child is safe," Ms Henson said.

"However, I really wanted to create something that was colourful and bright and represented the fire station and the work they do."

The mural was sponsored by the Suffolk Park Hotel and Ecolour Paints.



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