WHY a mural?


Our club sees this opportunity as an innovative way to -

  • Increase our impact
  • Expand our reach
  • Enhance participant engagement
  • Increase our ability to adapt


A blank canvas 

Watch this space!


In November 2022 we will be transforming this iconic Rotary structure in Rye into a inspiring 'billboard' that shouts the impact that Rotary has made in the world  locally, nationally and globally.


The mural!



We are calling our mural    "Honour the past ... Imagine the future"


It will be located on the Rye clock tower in Napier Street, Rye.

This is a very prominent location and the mural will be highly visible from Point Nepean Rd. 


The history of the clock tower


The Clock was financed and built by the Rotary Club of Rye in 2005 at a cost of $79,000.  Since then, the Rosebud and Rye Rotary Clubs have amalgamated to become the Rotary Club of Rosebud-Rye. 


The tower straddles a former rail line that transported goods to the pier and therefore, is directly in line with Rye pier. The shape of the tower reflects the shape of a kiln.  The mural will take inspiration from the ‘time’ function of the clock and be based on the history of Rye, as well as the Rotary International theme for ‘22-‘23  'IMAGINE Rotary'.


As the tower has three faces, the artwork will incorporate the contribution that Rotary makes locally, nationally and globally.  During the design stage, local artist, Trent Downie will workshop with the art teacher and Yr 6 students from Rye Primary school to develop ideas around the theme.  Rotarians from our club will also have an opportunity to contribute ideas.  Children from the school will participate in the painting of the mural. Rotarian volunteers will help manage the children and also participate in the painting.


The twilight 'IMAGINE' market


The small event department of the Mornington Peninsula Shire is happy to support us in our plans to hold a market at the completion of the mural, with live music, food and market stalls.  This will provide an opportunity for an art activity where children at the market will be able to paint a clock face (made from MDF) with a functioning mechanism and ‘IMAGINE’ the future for themselves.  


The market will attract tourists and benefit local businesses.



Communicating to the wider community



A plaque will be mounted on the mural with information about the mural theme.  The Rotary Club and Rye Primary School will share the progress of the activity though their Facebook pages and websites. Our club will create an Instagram page for the activity. We will also approach local radio stations and request that they share the interesting story behind our mural activity.  Posters will be circulated throughout the community to advertise the mural and the event.


The mural activity will be featured at the Rotary District Conference which is being held in February ‘23 at Cape Schanck.  The conference will bring together clubs from The Mornington Peninsula and Casey to Gippsland.  We hope to inspire Rotarians from all over that murals are a powerful way to connect communities and attract new members.



Supporting the priorities of the Shire's Arts & Culture Plan 2024


Local Rye artist, Trent Downie will work with Katie Werttenhall, the art teacher from Rye Primary school at the design stage of the activity.  Grade six students and Rotary Club members will have an opportunity to contribute ideas and participate in the painting.


The theme of the artwork inherently focuses on creating a connected future and bringing the community together, specifically with children working alongside older residents in the creation of public art.


One of the aims of the activity is to attract new members to Rotary. The Mornington Peninsula attracts retirees.  Membership with clubs, gives older residents many opportunities to engage with the community in satisfying and meaningful ways.  It also provides them with an opportunity to simply make new friends.  Loneliness is the enemy of the aged, and Rotarians deeply care for one another.


As passersby see Rotarians participating in the painting process, the activity will send the message that Rotary is a creative and fun club to belong to. Also, Rotarians volunteer their time, skills and wisdom from a lifetime of working, and do a lot of unseen good in the community.  The mural will be an opportunity for this work to be acknowledged in a very creative way.


Further, as the activity will honour Rye's limestone kiln history, it will foster a sense of place.  We will also acknowledge the Bunurong Peoples’ of the Kulin Nation as Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land.  This acknowledgement will be located on the plaque which will be mounted on the mural wall.


Cultural Creativity

This project targets the cultural creativity of our region -

  1.  It support an artist and Club members to explore and create innovative new work
  2.  It provides measurable economic benefit and the opportunity to showcase the regions to a broader audience.
  3.  It increases a sense of identity, place and engagement across key diversity groups
  4.  It involves local businesses and contributes to local employment


This will be the first time that artist Trent Downie will work with older residents. Likewise, apart from Sandra's mural work in Nepal, none of the Rotarians have ever participated in creating a mural, let alone, alongside children.


Our club members are eager to learn from this experience, as we plan to create a much more ambitious mural on the back wall of the Rosebud Memorial Hall in 2023. Trent has already quoted for this and we see this as doable. That mural will be the backdrop of another much bigger community fundraising event that will support a local project and an international project.


Our mural activity will be shared at both the Rotary District Conference '23 and hopefully, the Rotary International Convention '23.  Rotary membership worldwide is stagnant and is actually falling in Australia.  We hope to prove, through this activity, that Rotary is a creative and dynamic club to belong to.  Older residents are often underestimated and seen as not being particularly creative. We aim to dispel this myth.


The activity will honour Rye's limestone kiln history. It will therefore foster a sense of place.  The Tower has a base of three buttresses. Each has an oval opening depicting the “Eye” as it was called, of a lime kiln from where the slaked lime was taken out by shovel and loaded onto barges and then transported to Melbourne to use as the cement to build the new town.  The timber struts on the tower signify Rye's timber industry.  Coastal gum was cut into billets, loaded onto barges and shipped to Melbourne to fire the stoves, fires and bakers ovens.  Around the base is a circle of engraved bricks set in concrete, these were offered in the first place to the surviving early settlers families and record their place in Rye’s history.  The spaces left were taken up by families that wished to commemorate their family’s history in Rye.



Actions and timelines needed to deliver this activity


A time needs to be arranged with the Rye Historical Society to choose inspirational photos for the workshop.


A time needs to be confirmed between the Trent, the art teacher and the Rotarians for the workshop at Rye Primary School.


The expected timeline is –

  • First week in November – Workshops
  • Second week in November - Ideas submitted in November
  • 3rd week in November - Concept by Trent drawn up
  • 4th week in November - Presentation of concept and feedback with Rotary club members, the art teacher and the Mornington Shire. 
  • Painting begins.  Two weeks to complete, before the end of Term 4 which is 20th December

Proposed Budget


$10,000 through the Mornington Peninsula Creative Economy Grant 


Trent Downie artist


Some local murals by Trent 

Dromana Primary School


Napier St Plaza