Change and Adaptation

02. 08. 2016

Mosaic Mural

Artists:  Mike Tye  l   Didge McHughes (artist’s assistant)

Ngarrindjeri/Ramindjeri health and wellbeing mosaic mural at the Victor Medical Centre (Old Courthouse), Victor Harbor

In January 2014, artists Mike Tye and Didge McHughes began work on a mosaic mural that would convey healthy living messages and reflect the enduring cultural aspects of the Ngarrindjeri – Ramindjeri people.

The design was developed in consultation with South Coast Ngarrindjeri/Ramindjeri Elders and tells the story of Aboriginal health from traditional times through colonisation to modern day.

The mosaic presents elements that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, improve wellbeing and strengthen the Ngarrindjeri – Ramindjeri community.  Traditional medicines and foods are wound into a spiral connecting the past with the future.   The mural reflects the Ngarrindjeri belief that the health of an individual depends on the health of their environment.   It recognises the cycle of good and bad times in the journey of healing and it carries a message of hope for the future.

Researcher Catherine Murphy conducted interviews with Ngarrindjeri – Ramindjeri elders to identify themes for the mural and gain insight into the interplay between cultural connectedness and individual wellbeing.  From these discussions, ideas for the design began to emerge.

The design then passed through an approval process with Ngarrindjeri elders, Medicare Local, a Heritage Advisor and the Victor Harbor Council.  It took Mike and Didge 599 hours to translate that design into prefabricated panels for the 26 metre long mural

A launch of the mural was held at the Victor Harbor Medical Clinic at 10am Friday 16 May 2013. Ngarrindjeri – Ramindjeri people and their families attended along with artists, staff of SAFKI Medicare Local and Country Arts SA, members from the local council and local health services.  Artist Assistant Didge McHughes, CEO of Southern Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Island Medicare Local, Deb Dutton and Country Arts SA CEO, Steve Saffell spoke at the event.

Partner Outcomes

  • deeper engagement with the local Aboriginal community
  • support for the reconciliation process
  • an enduring artwork enhancing Medicare Local Victor Harbor
  • raised public profile of Medicare Local services
  • stronger connection between the health centre and Country

The Mosaic Mural emerged from the ‘Dressing the Building’ project.  Click here to see the Change & Adaptation project map.

Matthew Bennett

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2011 - 2014


Artist Residencies


Country Arts SA in Partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Alexandrina Council, Government of South Australia and Medicare Local


Alexandrina Region

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.