October 19, 2021
Cherbourg artist Robert “Rocko” Langton has works on display all over the South Burnett … but now one of his paintings has taken to the streets, literally.
Rocko’s artwork, developed with assistance of a bunch of Cherbourg children, is now proudly wrapped around one of Cherbourg’s police vehicles.
The brightly coloured van was unveiled in a special ceremony at Cherbourg State School on Tuesday afternoon.
And the young artists who worked on the design were presented with matching shirts by the current officer-in-charge at Cherbourg Station, Acting Sergeant Rob Firman.
Inspector Chris Pemberton said the project aimed to break down the barriers that sometimes exist between children and the police.
And if the reaction at Cherbourg State School is any indication, the project is working.
“The kids are really proud of what they have achieved and will get to see (their artwork) every day in the community,” Inspector Pemberton said.
“It’s a great day when the police and local community get to celebrate a partnership with such a beautiful piece of artwork.”
Uncle Rocko told Cherbourg Radio the artwork included a carpet snake and an owl – the Wakka Wakka totem – and two Elders, a man and a woman.
The schoolchildren added their handprints and did the dots, representing the people of Cherbourg.
“They loved doing the artwork … especially their handprints on the canvas,” Uncle Rocko said.
He said the children had run around the vehicle when it pulled in, looking for their handprints.
There are also handprints from some of the local police and schoolteachers.
Nanango-based JS Signs measured the vehicle and made up the stickers based on the original painting.
Cherbourg Mayor Elvie Sandow said the project had been a long time coming but she hoped it would build a relationship between the kids, the police and the Cherbourg community.
“With a bit of artwork on the truck, they might look after it and understand that it’s here to keep our community safe,” Mayor Sandow said.
Another program has also re-started recently in Cherbourg in a bid to build a relationship between local children and police.
Police Rangers now meet at the school every Monday afternoon.
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Take a closer look at Uncle Rocko’s great artwork, courtesy of Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council: