The Creative Koalas of Mount Colah

Mount Colah is a small suburb nestled in the lap of nature. Originally, known as ‘Colah’, the name was first used by botanist George Caley to describe a ‘koala’. Today, the suburb is considered by many to be a lovely place for raising kids and families.

As well as being a member of the FOMC, I am also an active member at the Hornsby Council’s Access & Social Justice Consultative Group. Just like the FOMC, we believe in making the Shire more inclusive including the provisions for involving kids from within the Shire in the events and activities. Events such as the Healthy Living Festival and the Mt Colah Mingle 2015 have been very well received by the Mt Colah community.

As mentioned in the June Monthly Chronicle, the FOMC along with the support from local businesses and community members organised the Mother’s Day fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

While brainstorming on the format event, the organising committee thought it would be a good idea to have a kid’s corner and to conduct a “Sit-and-Draw” competition for them. The focus is on people and sustainability matters and it believes in contributing to the society through multiple initiatives.

It was wonderful to watch the little koalas unleash their creative potential while their parents eagerly waited with a sense of pride witnessing their kids’ creation. In their artwork, there was a sense of appreciation for their mothers as they strived to narrate how much ‘IMOM’.

A bright and colourful event was able to encourage participation from kids as young as two and up to 12 years. Thanks to the enthusiastic team who orchestrated the entire event for a noble cause. The excitement of the winners 1st prize – Jack, 2nd prize – Aaliyah and 3rd prize- Sophia were not to be missed as they received their prizes.

The prizes were limited edition art blocks of authentic Indian Art by an eminent woman artist from India. They were presented by Clr. Mick Gallagher and FOMC members – John, Jan and myself.  Overall, it was the inclusiveness and confluence of multiple generations and a truly multicultural event.

I remember, during the competition one of the kids asked me whether he could get an extra drawing sheet to create another artwork now that he has come up with an even better idea. It perhaps point to the fact that the innocent young koalas urge to paint a brighter picture if only we support them with fresh canvas, colours and an environment that fosters creativity and simplicity. Are we in sync with those expectations that our future generation beckons? Perhaps, something to introspect….

Dr. Jayantee Mukherjee Saha
Member, FOMC
Director, Aei4eiA (
Chairperson, Hornsby Council’s Access and Social Justice Consultative Group


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