Felicity Howard, Tarrangower Times
The reach of the Kangaroo Art Auction which closed on Monday 31 July as part of the Maldon Inc Maldon In Winter Festival, was far and wide. Via a Facebook share, the mayor of the 14th precinct of Paris, Marchand Jerome, kindly donated 100 Euro to Red Box Wildlife Shelter when he learned money raised was for the kangaroo treatment clinic.
The auction also reached Anita Franklin of Side by Side Therapy Centre at Mount Gambier in South Australia. Anita was the highest bidder of ‘Fleur’ by Maldon Primary School students years 4/5/6. With the incredible assistance of Shane Sells at Pack & Send Bendigo, a South Australian-bound courier truck was diverted to personally deliver ‘Fleur’ to Anita’s door. ‘Fleur’ is now featured at the therapy centre as a talking piece and springboard for the Side by Side community art project, which is similar to one they created in Beijing.
Dr Mark Sayer was the successful bidder of ‘Hope’ by Maldon’s noted wildlife artist, Robyn Riley. We are thrilled to learn that ‘Hope’ will be taking pride of place at the Kooringal Veterinary Hospital in Tatton NSW, until their new $3 million veterinary and wildlife facility is built (hopefully by the end of next year). ‘Hope’ will be prominently placed in the reception area to welcome patients with their pet parents.
The lovely June Kiff of Reservoir Melbourne was the highest bidder of ‘Goldie’ created by the Mount Alexander Girl Guides. She is sharing ‘Goldie’ with her grandchildren for a little while and then plans to donate her for public display at the local primary school.
The auction also reached Tim Scarce of Tamworth NSW. Tim was the successful bidder of ‘Posh Kangaroo’ by Maldon’s own Stephen Phillis. It turns out Tamworth is 12 ½ hours away from Maldon, and Tim had no idea, until the auction, where Maldon was located. We had a good laugh about the distance. Tim is currently working out whether he can undertake the 25-hour round trip to collect ‘Posh’ (as courier costs were prohibitive to ship) or, in a generous act, he donates ‘Posh’ to our Maldon aged care facility so ‘Posh’ can be displayed for further enjoyment. Watch this space.
In another act of generosity, Dianne Ollerenshaw, who also lives in NSW, purchased ‘Boomer’ by Elphinstone Primary School. Dianne has donated ‘Boomer’ to the Elphinstone Primary School community. We understand ‘Boomer’ will be on public display in Elphinstone businesses.
‘Neon’ by Maldon Primary School students years 2/3 has been purchased by Jill Mentiplay, who is the owner of Little Farm of Calm Wildlife Shelter in Benalla. This wildlife shelter rehabilitates and releases native wildlife in the North East region.
It would seem each of the art kangaroos is finding its rightful and adored home. We are buoyed that these important artworks, created with such dedication by our artists and students, will continue the positive messaging and connect our kangaroos with their new communities.
We remain grateful for the dedication of all those involved in the Maldon Kangaroo Art Project. To the artists, you are the project, and your work has been acknowledged far and wide.
We continue inching our way to the much-needed ultrasound machine for Red Box Wildlife Shelter. We have raised the cost of the machine and are close to covering the necessary software.
During the Maldon Inc ‘Maldon in Winter Festival’ 20+ lifesized kangaroos were on display in shop windows in Main and High Streets. The kangaroos had been decorated by a number of diverse artists, three primary schools, regional Girl Guides and Scout Joeys, and the North Melbourne Football Club to raise funds for the Red Box Wildlife Shelter. Following the Festival, the art kangaroos were auctioned with proceeds being gifted to www.redboxwildlifeshelter.com.au.
This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 25 August 2023.