St Ignatius School commissions First Nations mural for their 120th anniversary


​​Principal Duncan Maitland with Assistant Principal Religious Education Susan Suter and students in front of mural by First Nations Artist Brenda Mau.

St Ignatius School Toowong commemorated its 120th anniversary last month, with the unveiling of a mural that honours the Turrbul and Yuggera People. 

Designed by renowned First Nations Artist Brenda Mau, the mural chronicles the timeless narrative of the area on which St Ignatius School stands today. 

St Ignatius School Principal Duncan Maitland says the mural encompasses not just the past 120 years of St Ignatius School history, but a community spanning thousands of years. 

As part of our 120-year celebrations, we wanted to recognise and celebrate the community that has shaped and influenced our school for generations,” he said. 

“We have a deep reverence for the land on which our school stands, which is why we commissioned First Nations Artist Brenda Mau to capture the Baneraba (Toowong) area in her creative interpretation. 

“For thousands of years, Toowong has been a gathering place for First Nations Peoples and is known as a place of wisdom where culture is shared. 

“We are proud to say Toowong continues to be a place of community and of learning.” 

Mandubarra, Kalkadoon, Wuthathi, Ngadjonjii, Torres Strait Islander Waiben (Waiben-Thursday Island) woman and Artist Brenda Mau says every element of the mural is intentional. 

“I first and foremost want to acknowledge the Turrbul and Yuggera People of this land that I am privileged to work on, I am honoured to have this opportunity,” she says. 

“The mural tells the story of the Toowong Parish and how it grew into the large community it is today, full of love, support, friendships, and connections. 

“The title is, ‘Many Identities, One Community.’ 
The Maiwar (Brisbane River) runs through the mural, with the life of the land and waters shown through elements and colours.  
“It has been an absolute delight getting to know the St Ignatius School community, and I am so grateful to have the chance to share the love of my culture and art with the school, the staff, the students, and their parents.” 
Duncan added Brenda’s artwork serves as a testament to his school communities ongoing commitment to honour and embrace the cultures and traditions of our First Nations People. 

By acknowledging the Turrbul and Yuggera People and their enduring presence in this region, we aspire to deepen our understanding and appreciation for the world’s oldest living culture,” he says. 

“It was amazing to unveil Brenda’s mural at our 120th anniversary celebrations, with our students, staff, parents, alumni, and broader community present on the day. 

“Our students know our school has a rich history and it is exciting watching them realise they are a part of this history too. 
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Turrbul and Yuggera People for their custodianship of this land and their generosity in sharing their culture with us. 

It is through these gestures of collaboration and respect that we are inspired to continue to nurture an environment that upholds the values of inclusivity, diversity, and mutual understanding. 

As part of their 120-year celebrations St Ignatius School has also commissioned a second mural by Christian Griffiths, which acknowledges the history and contributions of the Jesuit Fathers and Mercy Sisters, with Goldicott House (original boarding house for students and Mercy Sisters) a major focus of the mural. 

Both murals are proudly displayed in the undercover presentation space at St Ignatius School. 

For more information about St Ignatius School Toowong and to enrol click here. ​

20230817_041825043_iOS.jpgPrincipal Duncan Maitland with Assistant Principal Religious Education Susan Suter and students in front of mural by Christian Griffiths.

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