A striking portrait of General Sir John Monash now features on Tatura’s water tower, an installation in a new historic water tower art trail.
- A mural of General Sir John Monash has been painted on a water tower
- The tower will be part of the popular Silo Art Trail
- Monash designed the tower, which was built in 1912
It’s hoped this will be among many painted towers throughout the state, and an addition to the wildly popular Silo Art Trail.
Above all, residents in the small northern Victorian town of Tatura hope it will boost tourism after the region was left reeling by COVID-19.
The mural honours Tatura’s military history, and pays homage to Monash.
An engineer, soldier and nation builder, Monash is credited as one of the architects of the Allied victory in World War I.
He also designed historical structures across the region – many of which still stand today, including Tatura’s water tower, built in 1912.
In fact, it’s the earliest surviving example of a reinforced concrete tower of this design to be constructed in Victoria.
Painted on the other side of the water tower is a waterfall of bright red poppies, in tribute to the region’s significant Anzac legacy.
Labour of love brings tourism to region
The mural is a labour of love headed up by Tatura Returned Services League member and Vietnam veteran Rob Mathieson.
He’s had the dream for more than three and a half years.
And after being thwarted by bad weather, a pandemic and usual tangles of legal red tape, it’s finally a reality.
“And social media’s gone berserk.”
Artists Cam Scale and Andrew Davis worked closely with Mr Mathieson to bring his vision to life.
And despite the severe economic impacts of the pandemic, local businesses didn’t hesitate to shell out donations for the project.
“They’ve been absolute diamonds for us, they’ve contributed all the way along,” Mr Mathieson said.
All up, the project cost $45,000, made possible through community fundraising and government grants.
Goulburn Valley Water, who own the tower, were quick to back the cause, as was Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp.
“This is the second time we’ve partnered with our communities to bring a long-held vision to life with art on our water towers and tanks,” GVW managing director Steve Capewell said.
Mural honours civil engineer and military hero Monash
Michael Bennett, great-grandson of General Monash and a Member of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, said the family was thankful for this tribute.
“I’m so pleased his engineering exploits have been remembered like this,” he said.
“He pioneered pre-stressed concrete in Australia and initially had some patents for methods of using it.
“How on earth that can still be standing, still providing water for the people of Tatura, it’s just wonderful.”
The site will feature signage to provide information to visitors, honouring the tower’s history and Monash’s life.