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Downlands College sent me and my colleague, photographer Catherine Mims, out to Charleville, Quilpie, Cunnamulla and Wyandra in late March, to run a series of collaborative group paintings with each community.

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Every session started off in a similar way, but the end results were all very different – and totally wonderful!

And while we were painting, I learned about the districts and we talked about all the educational options available to people in the bush. It’s been a terrific way to promote the College in a genuine way and I have to thank Deirdre Williams, Downlands parent and Wyandra local, for organising and accompanying us on the trip! Deirdre is now a dear friend and the dinner she hosted for us in her home on the last Thursday night was just wonderful.

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I’ll also be keeping in touch with Charleville artist, Donna Reynolds, with a view to her visiting the Shiny Happy Art studio and running a class or two! Believe me, it’s something to look forward to.