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The Bowen Shire Festival of Murals Society
are proud to announce their

Pacific Murals Gathering
September 12th to 16th 2005

Bowen Queensland Australia

Bowen is one of the Pacific Region’s famous Murals destinations. Visitors from around the world have journeyed thousands of miles especially to see and understand Bowen’s history - and that of neighbouring mural town Collinsville. Thousands upon thousands of holidaymakers to the Whitsundays have discovered the murals to their great delight. Bowen’s Festival of Murals Society is accordingly rightfully proud that it has received outright support and sponsorship to convene this Pacific Regional Seminar from the Global Association for Murals and Arts Tourism founded at Chemainus by the legendary Karl Schutz. Today it has more than 50 member townships worldwide from Scotland, across the Americas to New Zealand.

The Gathering is for all those in Bowen Shire who already share the Murals Success Story but it is particularly intended to attract a goodly attendance from across the Pacific and more generally from those other townships around the world that belong to the Global Association. All these visitors will have their own tales to tell of successes – and of problems they have encountered – that will surely benefit Bowen Shire’s future developments. It is also demonstrably the case that Bowen Shire has experience aplenty to share with its visitors to help them grow and develop further.

And as if that agenda is not enough … Bowen Shire understands and excels in hospitality at ‘The Top of the Whitsundays’. All visitors can rest assured that the programme will include not only serious Murals talk but also opportunities to enjoy the outstanding tourism facilities and the quite splendid location that is Bowen Shire. The Mayor, Mike Brunker, has already put his shoulder to the wheel giving all possible support from the municipality.

Background Briefing

Bowen and Colinsville have been painting murals since 1988. On the initiative of Lil Hardy they embarked upon a strategy to become the ‘Murals Capital of Australia’. Like Chemainus, the town adopted murals as an approach to restoring the area and reenergising the community when the original industries had been run down or closed completely. Today the two neighbouring towns have more than 30 murals and a wealth of history is being told every day to every passer by.

They tell of the original aborigines, sugar cane harvests, shipwrecked mariners, the arrival of seaplanes, of coal mining and salt panning, the town band, early schooling, ambulances, the railways and fire brigades, of pioneers men and women alike, of wheelwrights, bankers, water supply, newspaper printing and the SS Canberra plying its coastal trade. Most of the artists have come from Queensland. [They can all be viewed @ and when arriving at that page GO Murals or Colinsville on the left hand listing.]
Transporting a boiler to the Goldfields
Salt Harvest
Bowen Municipal Band South      Seas Islands Mural
James Morrill     Mining Life

The Programme
(as at November 1st 2004)

N.B.: Bus Service will take all participants from their motels to McKenna Hall and all events

MONDAY - Day 1 - September 12th
WELCOME & OFFICIAL OPENING - Senator De-Anne Kelly, Karl Schutz and the Mayor of Bowen

  • WHAT MURALS MEAN for the municipality – straight from The Mayor
  • The Murals Society in Bowen Shire and Bowen’s links with Colinsville
  • The Global Story - Karl Schutz
  • COMPARATIVE HISTORIES Workshop with all others attending to understand shared origins
  • GUIDED TOUR of Bowen’s Murals and Voting on Preferences by all – combination bus and walking
  • Mystery Dinner and Dance Venue with Bowen Lions Club

TUESDAY - Day 2 - September 13th

  • Mastering Murals Operations – an overall perspective from the Town's Chief Librarian, then break out groups for selected fields chosen at wish of all participants. Each group will report back and share experiences from all visitors. Fields expected will include:
  • Planning and designing murals
  • Preparation of surfaces for painting – sun, sea, rain and the rest
  • Legal relationships with artists and for copyrights
  • Gaining and garnering community support in the beginning and reinventing it - Lil Hardy
  • Operating tours and visits programmes
  • Designing and selling souvenirs and reproductions
  • Mystery Venue for Dinner

WEDNESDAY - Day 3 - September 14th

All participants to select at Registration time from the following excursions out of town for the day:

  • Travel to Colinsville to see that town’s murals, Mines and Bogey River Rush House
  • Cruise the Barrier Reef Islands
  • Travel to Proserpine Area ‘to enhance environmental appreciation’
  • Go(ne) Fishing on the Reef
  • DINNER al fresco where participants wish to choose – with suggestions!

THURSDAY - Day 4 - September 15th

  • Visitors will be invited to make 20 minute presentations on special aspects of their own Murals activities. Topics chosen will be driven by volunteers on the participant list but in particular they will be asked for transferable ‘great’ ideas to highlight e.g.
  • Making Murals Live with a play/ re-enactment scene
  • Linking Mural and Arts Festival activities with local retail facilities
  • Extending the definition of Murals to many more ‘Arts’ e.g. pottery, photography, literature, dance, singing, music making, indoor painting, heraldry
  • Involving youth groups and eliminating vandalism
  • Offering Arts Tourism education and awards – credit for ‘evaluating’ personal learning at this very Seminar
  • CELEBRATION DINNER Theme Night - Australia

FRIDAY - Day 5 - September 16th (WHOLLY OPTIONAL)

  • Select a second excursion from Day 3
  • PIG ON THE SPIT at specialist restaurant and farewells

Helen Hansen, Secretary, Bowen Shire Festival of Murals Society Inc.,
PO Box 1287, Bowen, Queensland, Australia 4805
Ph. (61) (0)747 861-524
Fax. (61) (0)747 861-761

Includes all events and transportation but not accommodation - $ Australian 595 (estimated)
Excursions - Days 3 and 5 additional at cost.


Bowen is located at the Top of the Whitsunday Islands. Known as the"Climate Capital of Australia" it has a constant temperature all year round. Bowen has some of the best views in Australia and some of the most diverse country. From the serene spotless clean beaches that surround the town to the rugged outback that extends west into the state of Queensland.