Koala sculpture proving popular

Symbolic: Wauchope District Memorial Hospital staff members Karen Woollard, front, Denni Bartlett, Maureen O'Connor and Ann Bodill, and Hello Koalas organisers Linda Hall and Margaret Meagher, with the new "Grannny Square" koala to be located at the hospital.
Symbolic: Wauchope District Memorial Hospital staff members Karen Woollard, front, Denni Bartlett, Maureen O'Connor and Ann Bodill, and Hello Koalas organisers Linda Hall and Margaret Meagher, with the new "Grannny Square" koala to be located at the hospital.

THE "Granny Square" design painted on its koala sculpture will welcome people and symbolise the warmth and care provided by the staff of Wauchope Hospital.

That's the reaction of Hello Koalas sculpture trail organisers and Wauchope District Memorial Hospital staff to the new artwork, created by Port Macquarie-based artist Suzi Fischer to symbolise designs on the many hand-crocheted quilts and rugs on beds in the hospital.

The intricately worked design had special significance for Hello Koalas project manager Linda Hall, whose mother spent her last days in the hospital's Palliative Care Unit, and for whom the design symbolises "the beautiful quilts on the beds" and the associated "love and nurturing" care provided by the staff there.

The hospital staff picked the Granny Square design for the sculpture, executive officer Ann Bodill said, and hope that when the koala is installed in front of the hospital it will be representative of its greatest asset - its caring staff - to passersby and visitors.

Hello Koalas project director Margret Meagher, who is also executive director of locally based Arts and Health Australia, which promotes health and wellbeing through creative expression and engagement, said she hopes the koala may also inspire artistic activities to assist patients' healing and recovery.

When it is installed, the Granny Square koala, sponsored by the hospital, will the third in Wauchope, and individuals and businesses willing to contribute to sponsorship of the other two are being encouraged to contact Margret Meagher to discuss the project. More information is available on the website www.hellokoalas.com.