Indigenous art brightens up Bunbury Hospital

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Hospital operations managers Glen Matters, artist and Noongar leader Troy Bennell and Aboriginal mental health coordinator Glenda Humphries check out the completed artwork at the hospital entrance.
Camera IconBunbury Hospital operations managers Glen Matters, artist and Noongar leader Troy Bennell and Aboriginal mental health coordinator Glenda Humphries check out the completed artwork at the hospital entrance. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

An idea to add a splash of indigenous artwork to the entrance of Bunbury Hospital has filtered throughout the facility.

Aboriginal artist Troy Bennell has used his creative genius to brighten up parts of the hospital and what started out as painting bollards at the entrance has expanded to hallway walls.

Bunbury Hospital operations manager Glen Matters said the artwork was an important element in a broader strategy of ensuring the health service was welcoming to the local Aboriginal community.

Mr Matters said there was no doubt that appreciating and understanding cultural differences helped improve healthcare delivery and customer service.

“It’s practical and creative initiatives like this that can help bridge the gap between cultural differences and also help facilitate a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our Aboriginal patients and family members who visit the hospital,” he said.

“I think everyone would agree, Troy has done an outstanding job not only with organising the art but also in engaging people in a really positive way.

“This has been a fantastic process with a stunning result and I congratulate everyone involved and every individual who contributed to it.”

Bunbury Hospital Aboriginal mental health coordinator Glenda Humphries, operations manager Glen Matters and artist and Noonga leader Troy Bennell check out the completed artwork at the hospital entrance.
Camera IconBunbury Hospital Aboriginal mental health coordinator Glenda Humphries, operations manager Glen Matters and artist and Noonga leader Troy Bennell check out the completed artwork at the hospital entrance. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Bollards have been painted to represent the region’s landscape while walls inside the hospital have been splashed with colour to depict the seven seasons.

The idea stemmed from Bunbury community mental health co-ordinator Glenda Humphries who, after visiting the hospital everyday, thought it needed some brightening up.

“Everyday I come here and I thought this passage just needs something,” she said. “We went to the elders group and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing an art project’, and then we got Troy involved.

“It was just started off with the bollards and has just filtered through. We’ve had a lot of good feedback.”

Staff and visitors were invited to contribute with dozens of hand prints now part of the artwork.

“It’s been a really positive experience for our staff and the broader community who have responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to contribute a hand print to the artwork,” Mr Matters said.

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