The late poet Dorothea Mackellar will take pride of place in a new silo artwork on a heritage-listed site.
Gunnedah Maize Mill is the canvas for the 29-metre tall mural, which will also feature the second verse from Mackellar's famous poem My Country, a horse-drawn wagon, maize, a windmill and farming equipment on the northern side.
The mural will be brought to life by street artist, Khrelbaataryn Khosnaran aka Heesco, who is well-known for his countless artworks around Australia, namely Yarram, which has been nicknamed "Heesco Town".
The $70,500 project is funded by the federal government's Drought Communities Program and it is anticipated work will start in spring. There may be delays due to COVID-19 because Heesco is based in Melbourne.
Gunnedah shire mayor Jamie Chaffey said the mural would be "a wonderful addition to our appeal on the silo trail", which already includes the Vietnam Veterans memorial mural on the Gunnedah Water Tower Museum.
The Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society has been actively involved in developing the maize mural concept and president Pip Murray said members were "absolutely delighted" to see it funded.
"I think it will be a major asset to the town. It's a draw-card and a celebration of Dorothea Mackellar's connection to Gunnedah," she said.
"We're sure it will create a great deal of interest and we're very excited about it."
The image the society has chosen of Mackellar is from a photograph taken in her thirties. The poet and her family lived at Kurrumbede near Gunnedah for 30 years and the landscape is said to have inspired My Country. The poem was published in 1908 not long after the mill was originally constructed.
Mill owner Stephen Dangerfield said the society approached him a few months ago about using the site and he was "very glad to be a part of it".
"We're very glad to make a contribution and uphold the legacy of Dorothea Mackellar and it ties in nicely with the heritage aspect," he said.
Mr Dangerfield said they had already cleaned the existing paint off the northern exterior of the mill and discovered some cracks, which will need to be repaired before a fresh coat of paint can be applied, ready for Heesco's spray cans.
Society member Owen Hasler said they expected it would take Heesco about a month to complete the mural if he worked six days a week.
As the mill is fenced, thought and planning will need to go into a viewing platform so locals and visitors can get a better look at the mural when it is ready.
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