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Going to Bowen... October 1st - 5th 2005

Yes, that's how far ahead in planning the Bowen Pacific Regional Seminar is! 2005, just a year before the biggest celebrations of them all at Prestoungrange when the Global Association comes to visit us all for its 6th Biennial Conference in August.

Prestoungrange has been responsible for the liaison with Bowen on his regular trips down under in 2001 and 2003. From the Mayor downwards everyone is now planning with care and enthusiasm. For those on the Baron Courts Diploma Programme this is one more research location to be absorbed ... nice place to have to work and they have a famous shipwreck there too called, yes you guessed, The Gothenburg. Prestoungrange is off to follow through after the Lindsay Seminar in November this year as well as taking the Bowen Shire News to New Zealand's Kati Kati and Sheffield in Tasmania.

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

Pacific Murals Regional Seminar
October 1st – 5th 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 Seminar- which is certainly a Workshop as well - 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. With the inspiration of Karl Schutz 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 reenergizing 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 Proposed Seminar Schedule
(as @ October 2003)

The proposed schedule at October 2003 for circulation at the Lindsay California Regional Seminar sponsored by the Global Association is as follows and will of course be refined as the months go by.

- by the Mayor of Bowen

  • WHAT MURALS MEAN for the municipality – straight from The Mayor

  • HISTORY of the Murals Society in Bowen Shire and Bowen’s links with Colinsville by Lil Hardy who was there as 1988 Vintage, and from her more recent colleagues

  • 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

  • BOWEN GOLF CLUB as dinner and dance venue


  • Mastering Murals Operations – an overall perspective 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

  • Operating tours and visits programmes

  • Designing and selling souvenirs and reproductions

  • DINNER and BBQ @ MULLERS LAGOON with Rotarians Lions and Shire Councillors and staffs invited.


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

  • Travel to Colinsville to see that town’s murals by bus

  • Three islands cruise in The Whitsundays

  • Travel to Airlie Beach and surroundings ‘to enhance environmental appreciation’

  • Go(ne) Fishing

  • DINNER al fresco where participants wish to choose – with suggestions!


  • Visitors will be invited to make 20/ 30 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

  • LUNCHEON at Denison Sailing Club

  • CELEBRATION DINNER at local Giru Dala aboriginal site with custom dance


  • Select a second excursion from Day 3.


    Helen Hansen, Secretary, Bowen Shire Festival of Murals Society Inc.,
    PO Box 733, Bowen, Queensland, Australia 4805
    Ph. (61) (0)747 861-524 Fax. (61) (0)747 861-761

    The LOCATION...

    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.


    Published Date: August 28th 2003

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