News & Events


March 2, 2020

Sanctuary is how artist Gillian Coates describes her home at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

“When I go to Melbourne and I am heading back to Euroa, I can’t wait to get home to the peacefulness of this place. It is like a sanctuary for me,” said Gillian who moved into the village almost four years ago. This year she has needed the support and comfort of her sanctuary as she recovers from health problems and the tragic death of a grandson.

‘Sanctuary’ is the title of an artwork created by Gillian which was displayed for the first time at the Currie Park 150th celebration in November 2019.

The inspiration for the artwork came from an across OCAV villages’ program where residents were asked to answer in one word what home meant to them. Residents put their one word answer onto wooden blocks, made by Barry Lay and the Men’s Shed group at Leith Park, which were placed on the steps of Parliament House in the lead up to Homelessness Week in August.

Gillian was inspired by the OCAV 150th logo, which features a tree-like symbol. The words, including sanctuary, security and safe, were painted onto leaves and then glued to the timber.

She says the artwork is a harmonious, abstract depiction of the peace and secutiy which residents find at Currie Park.

“I used local rock and ceramic pieces – I like to recycle – to illustrate two roads. Each leads to Euroa, an Aboriginal word that means joyful, and from there to Currie Park,” Gillian said.

“One leads to the logos, the other to a head, symbolic of the peace and joy we find here. The blue at the base of the work represents tranquillity.”

Gillian and her art group have created several pieces of work in the village including an ANZAC Day field of poppies and fish themed garden art featuring painted plates.

“It isn’t just this village that is my sanctuary, the whole town is a tranquil and peaceful place. You walk down the street, even on a busy day, and people stop to smile and say hello. I’m lucky to live here; it’s like we are shielded a bit from everything. It’s a place where people can live in peace and harmony.”



I love the ‘magimix’ of people who make up the community and that it is a safe and happy place to live. - Jo Portlock

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