The Story Behind This Mural
This mural commemorates Wilfred Walter Reeves (Uncle Wilfie), the Moonie Jarl Storyteller of the Butchulla people. He enlisted in the Army in 1942, serving in the 39th Infantry Battalion where he saw service on the Kokoda Track in New Guinea. In addition to his military service, Uncle Wilfie was heavily involved in the Maryborough Writers Group publishing works in the Moonaboola Quill which was the catalyst for the publishing of ‘Legends of Moonie Jarl’ – the very first book of Aboriginal stories, authored and illustrated by Aboriginal people. These achievements were all done before he, and all Aboriginal people, were eligible to take their place as Australian citizens. He passed away in 1968 just a short time after being recognised as a citizen of the nation he went to war for. This mural seeks to afford him the recognition he deserves and is a tribute to the quiet contribution one Aboriginal man made to our freedom, his nation, his town, his tribe and his family.
About the Artist
The artist, Warraba Weatherall is a contemporary artist from the Kamilaroi Nation of South West Queensland and has an extensive history in street art. His current artistic practice consists of painting and sculptural work. He was a co-artist with Dr Fiona Foley on another of our murals – ‘Legends of Moonie Jarl‘.
Contributors to this Mural
The Maryborough Mural Project relies entirely on the generosity of volunteers and sponsors from our local community. The artist’s commission was generously provided through Mayor George Seymour’s discretionary funds. The Committee would like to thank Committee Member Ms Elizabeth Lowrie, Ms Tracey Gray, Mrs Tracey Christoffel, Mr Malcolm Finlayson, Ms Dawn Vanderwolf, Mr Trevor Dyer, Ms Tracey Hough, Ms Dorelle Rider, Mrs Christine Darvel, Mr Ken Darvell, Ms Karen Berry, Mr Robert Waye and Ms Aleeca Waterman for their time and expertise in coordinating this mural. We would also like to thank Mr and Mrs John Meyers (the building owners), Mr Rai Whitten and Mr Brett Peters (for the loan of mobile scaffolding) as well as the following businesses for their kind and generous support in the creation of this mural.