Just as in Victoria and South Australia, stunning murals have been created on water towers around New South Wales. A different theme is seen on each of these skyscraping canvases and here are three of my favourites.
Gunnedah's water tower art recognises those who served in the Vietnam War. Australia saw its highest number of casualties during the 1966 Battle of Long Tan with 17 killed and 25 wounded in one engagement. Three years later, a cross and plaque were erected and a memorial dedication service was held on site. This service is beautifully depicted in one of two large murals by acclaimed pavement artist Jenny McCracken. The other mural shows armed forces personnel waiting to be airlifted by helicopters.
Sitting on a high point in town, Narrandera's water tower is highly visible and cannot be missed. Its wrap-around artwork showcases local landmarks, activities, flora and fauna. The Murray cod can be found in the nearby Murrumbidgee River while hundreds of koalas inhabit the riverside forests. Both these creatures take centre stage together with an eastern bearded dragon lizard.
Not far from Narrandera, I encountered a grim and solemn water tower art in the township of Hay. During World War II, hundreds of locals from this tiny community answered the call to arms including Private Flack who endured sadistic cruelty as a prisoner of war, Private Cannon who was wounded during an air raid, Private Murray who came back haunted by brutality, and Corporal Farlow who survived after four days trying to stay afloat in the water. Lieutenant Whyte from the Australian Army Nursing Service is also portrayed in the artwork amongst the above-mentioned men. She went to Rabaul to treat soldiers suffering from tropical diseases, however, became a prisoner of war and suffered greatly. In 2011, she received an official apology from the Japanese government.