Welcome to the Shire of Nannup

Living with Emu's - Art Sculpture installation

Published on Monday, 10 January 2022 at 9:52:09 AM

Living with Emu’s

Nannup is well known for its native wildlife and in a recent art installation has honoured the resilient Emu with a 3m tall sculpture weighing approximately 650kg. The Living with Emus was a project in partnership with the Road Safety Commission. This project enabled the creation of a large emu sculpture from wrecked car parts which encouraged open dialogue with Nannup students approaching driving age, regarding road safety and causes of crashes, focusing on crashes caused by wildlife in our region. The sculpture has been permanently located at the main Trailhead for the soon to be opened Tank 7 Mountain Bike Park in Nannup.

Local artist, Lewis Horne, designed the sculpture with local students from Nannup District High School. The project included educational presentations to reiterate relevant statistics and road safety messaging workshops to enhance the curriculum at the local school. The students learned what cars are made from, what happens to them in crashes and how to repurpose parts to make a permanent art piece that symbolically represents the need to increase understanding and knowledge of road safety messages.

Through the workshops the project was able to provide interactive learning opportunities for the students that they would not have ordinarily been exposed to if it wasn’t for the support by Road Safety Commission to fund the project. By engaging with the local emergency service workers, the Shire’s Community Ranger and having relatable incidents to share with the students the road safety message was well received and aimed to keep our community safe and build resilience.

The Shire of Nannup residents are not far from tragedy as there are many road side emergencies and wildlife fatalities due to road collisions each year. The Shire of Nannup is surrounded by 87% state forest. During the recent demonstration the school students were exposed to a Jaws of Life demonstration, information about first responders as well as the importance of volunteers in regional communities to support the emergency services.

Gaining inspiration from the RAC elephant in the Wheatbelt, this project increased awareness and understanding of road safety messages with pre-drivers and learner drivers in a fun and accessible way. Shire of Nannup Chief Executive Officer David Taylor said this is a great example of a community art project approaching a serious concern in regards to road trauma.

“Given our location the risk of road crashes, in particular incidents involving wildlife is a reality for our community,” he said.

The delivery of a unique sculpture work that is significant to the area has been a positive project for the local community. The sculpture is installed at a landmark location and will attract high traffic numbers. The project is beyond business as usual for the Shire of Nannup, funded through a Road Safety Commission project grant.

Living with Emus project identifies road trauma to generate discussions, myth bust, share facts and create an art piece that has meaning for the community. The sculpture will continue to create dialogue with locals and visitors to the region to increase road safety messaging into the future.

The funding body said this project is a great demonstration of collective responsibility by engaging all levels of emergency service including volunteers as well as the strategic partners of government such the Road Safety Commission, and the Local Government officers.

Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner said the Living with Emus project showcased the great collaboration opportunities available to organisations through the state, through the Commission’s grants program.

“The Shire of Nannup has done an amazing job combining an innovative art sculpture with education on the dangers local wildlife can pose to local drivers and tourists to the small south-west town he said.

The local youth, as traditional regional communities’ experience, often have to travel long distances for education and employment opportunities. This program was purposefully developed to improve their resilience and understanding of the risk in road accidents and how in the natural setting of the region, wildlife can impact on the statistics of vehicle collisions on our roads.

Crash data collected over five years, until the end of 2019, identifies that 28.9% of crashes in our region involved an animal. Young drivers need to be aware of the risks of driving in the country, including the risk of unexpected wildlife encounters.

The program focused on preventative wellbeing strategies to build resilience in emerging drivers within the close knit community. Throughout the direct engagement with the students during the artist and the emergency services workshops, real life scenarios of road tragedies were timely and directly impacted the Nannup community. Whist this is not something a community hopes to experience, the reality of road accidents in regions like the South West are unfortunately a common occurrence.

The Shire of Nannup would like to thank Nicole Botica, Economic and Community Development Coordinator and Mark Hudson, Project Officer for their dedication to this project. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact them on 9756 1018 or at the Shire Administration Building.

For more information about this project and to view the video clip please click on the link  https://communityconnect.rsc.wa.gov.au/community-grants-portal


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