Created during a welding workshop at the ‘Crafty Old School House’ in 2013, The McKinlay Coolibah Tree, celebrates the history of the area, and recognises that even though the population of a small outback town seems small, there is a much wider community who belong to it. The project was a welcome distraction from the pressure and stress that the locals face due to drought.

The sculpture is made from vintage metal objects collected from local station dumps. The trunk represents the McKinlay village, and the major branches are the 4 main roads that intersect in the village. These are oriented in the actual direction of the roads. The roads to the properties are indicated with antique metal artifacts. The leaves are cut from old roofing iron and there is a leaf for each person currently living on each property.

Participants in the project ranged in age from 10 to 73, with local kids making ceramic birds to add to the tree. The project was funded by the McKinlay Shire Council and the Queensland State Government through the Regional Arts Development Fund. Sponsored by ‘Sandfire Resources NL’

Look closely and try to find these vintage objects:

  1. A shearer’s comb.
  2. A horse shoe.
  3. A railway spike.
  4. An Axe head.
  5. A stirrup.
  6. Hand shears.
  7. TB
  8. The Southern Cross.
  9. Horse bit.