A word on the wall builds community

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20 May 2014

Building community can be as simple as picking up a piece of chalk, according to Bachelor of Outdoor Education and Sustainability students Rebecca Laws and William McIndoe.

As part of their third year sustainability project, the students created an outdoor Word Wall blackboard at the Madras Street campus where people can express their feelings and read others’ comments.

“We decided to do a project giving back to the community because we feel that people are holding on to too much emotional baggage, so this is an outlet,” William said.

“We are looking at this as social sustainability, allowing people can let go of all that baggage and walk around with lighter footsteps in a way,” Rebecca said.

William McIndoe and Rebecca Laws 

Passers-by have been quick to take up the challenge since the blackboard was unveiled last week, covering the blackboard in quotes and thoughts. The Word Wall is located on the Recreation Centre wall and will remain there until the building is demolished at the end of the year when the new Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility) is completed.

“Every week or so we will wash it down, so it’s that feeling of fresh starts - that whatever is happening today is not going to hang around until tomorrow,” William said.

“Community to us is a huge aspect of it. If you don’t have a community that works well together then there is disharmony in the world and the society. Unless everyone can work together and be at peace with themselves then things are never going to be as good as they could be.”