Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council has today announced Ricky Stuart as the subject of a large mural to be painted on a wall in Queanbeyan’s CBD.

Between December 2018 and March 2019 QPRC called on the community to nominate people they thought were worthy of being represented in the ‘What's Your Story? Queanbeyan Portrait Mural Project’.

Program Coordinator, Place Management Tracey Lamont said that the project was a very significant public art project for Queanbeyan, funded through the Australian Government’s Building Better Region’s Fund.

“We received more than 40 nominations from the community. Some of Queanbeyan’s historical figures that were nominated have great stories, but given the age and lack of detail in the images available, they would be difficult for Claire to paint.

“Ricky is obviously well known for his exploits on the football field and as a coach.

The story submitted by Dimitri Hantas as part of the nomination highlights that there is more to Ricky’s life than just football and that community is something close to his heart,” Ms Lamont said.

Mr Hantas commented that his personal admiration for Ricky partly has roots in his own family history.

“Ricky was born in Queanbeyan in January 1967, the same year that my father decided to migrate from Greece and make Queanbeyan home for our family.

“We have watched Ricky’s career over the years, and his sporting exploits have brought many happy memories to our family.

“Today as a parent, I have further admiration for Ricky who I have seen champion the cause for children with autism and devote his personal time and influence to set up respite centres to support children and teenagers with autism,” Mr Hantas said.

In February, contemporary artist Claire Foxton was chosen to create the mural on the wall of Queanbeyan’s Bicentennial Hall. Claire is a designer and artist based in Jamberoo, NSW.

She has a distinctive mix of abstract and realistic techniques. She is known for projects including at the Adelaide Fringe Festival; Pillars Project Brisbane; Street Prints Christchurch NZ; Wall to Wall Festival Benalla; and Melbourne Central Activation.

Claire is currently working on a project in New Zealand and will return in time to begin the Queanbeyan mural on 5 April.

“I’m pleased to be working on the mural for Queanbeyan, helping to brighten and transform the Queanbeyan CBD.

“I’m even more pleased that the project also involves an element of mentoring local art students from both Queanbeyan high schools who hopefully one day get some of the same opportunities I’ve worked hard for.

“I think it is fantastic the way Ricky is able to use his high profile to benefit the broader community through his work in setting up the foundation that has developed two respite centres so far and is looking to develop another one in his home town of Queanbeyan in the future,” said Claire.

Painting of the mural on the wall of the Bicentennial Hall will commence on Friday 5 April 2019.

Workshops with school students will be held in a shopfront in Blacksmiths Lane adjacent to the mural site while the mural painting takes place.