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St Mary's College - Native Butterfly Garden

St Marys Butterfly Garden news hero 905 x 428

St Mary's College utilised SA Power Networks Community Grant funding to build a native butterfly garden, complemented by an art piece collaboratively designed with First Nations artist David Booth.

Students from Years 5 to 11 worked alongside Booth to create a visually striking design spanning six large wooden boards. This artwork reflects the college's core values of justice, community, and truth while intertwining First Nations connection to culture, land, and community—an ongoing gesture of reciprocity toward reconciliation.

The project also involved research on plants to attract native butterflies to the garden. Collaborating with the school’s Reconciliation and Environmental Focus Groups, students dedicated numerous lunch hours to paint the six boards, putting in care and intricate details. David further enhanced the project by conducting a cultural awareness workshop, providing students with valuable context and knowledge.

Students work on an artwork that will eventually be displayed in the butterfly garden.

Picture: Students work on an artwork that will eventually be displayed in the butterfly garden.

Monique Green, leader of St Mary’s College Reconciliation Focus Group, shared insights into the artistic process, stating: “Artistically, there were core elements we wanted to include as a reflection of our story. The sky is filled with the handprints of every student and staff involved in the project; commemorating the individual mark we leave on this world. Each symbol is woven together through the golden thread, illustrating our Dominican Spirituality."

Monique also highlighted the students’ discussions about reconciliation with Country and shared that “it was evident that our students felt a calling to honor the land in which we meet, live, work, study and play on; an ode to those who walked long before us whilst also acknowledging our rich Dominican story. A mural felt fitting, and with that, our vision began.”

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