Red Ridge Blackall-Tambo


In the presence of community, family, friends and representatives from Red Ridge, Red Ridge Foundation, the Barcoo Retirement Village, Barcoo Aged Care and Churches of Christ Care, our Chair Peter Skewes proudly unveiled the McLean Brothers bust.

"It was a great honour to officially unveil the busts of the two men who meant so very much to me personally," said Peter Skewes, Treasurer Barcoo Retirement Village. "A fine piece of artwork that represents two distinguished pioneers and the brothers' great act of kindness is a legacy that has touched many families and friends."

A network for support and action.

Red Ridge's role in developing arts projects in partnership with community strengthens the generosity, spirit and pride of giving that makes people proud to live in Blackall. Creative projects such as this are a reflection of who we are and what we care about.

The busts were the product of many months of work by accomplished artist William Eicholtz. His art has paid tribute to local philanthropists Gordon and Lex McLean as healthy young men who made their mark on the land.


A regional partnership between Red Ridge and RAPAD Employment Services Queensland (RESQ) has enabled job seekers and people with special needs to discover an interest in the arts learning traditional leather craft. A group of twelve men shared traditional bush skills - developing skills in hand plaited kangaroo leather gifts such as key rings, belts and whips.

Reviving the craft has led to the group self naming their activities as 'The Lost Art' with the vision to grow the interest and respond to local and tourism markets. With the vision to move toward social enterprise Red Ridge and RESQ are driving employment diversity that builds local capacity and opportunities.

This regional partnership builds local communities.

We are enabling people to take charge of their own futures by providing creative options to engage communities to develop a self help model that responds to social needs. The outcome is a sustainable future in local souvenir production and the long-term vision is to share these products with tourists.

A lasting legacy.

Employing locally and using existing skills has helped to share intergenerational skills before they are lost and allows people to learn in creative circles in remote isolated areas.

Ordering 'The Lost Art' products is easy! Simply click here and browse, chose and purchase a terrific product and help a great group of Outback people.

The Lost Art gang

Creative belts made with the Lost Art


The Red Ridge Creative Circle is a group of women who meet regularly (usually weekly but sometimes more often) to share their creative skills and learn new ones.

Since its inception in 2012, our Ladies Creative Circle group has been involved in making large numbers of items to enhance our skills and support various causes. Within the circle participants use and share their skills and encourage others to accept the creativity challenge. The group realises the fact that every person is creative in some way and many never realise that potential.

Bringing crafts out of the closet.

The Creative Circle empowers women by providing opportunities to build positive personal relationships that leads to the building of a strong community of women. The support systems that it creates allow women to value and use their own unique talents and abilities that results ultimately in social change within communities.

Breaking down barriers and isolation.

The creative circle also provides the opportunity for social interaction and it has built friendships and also provided people new to the town with an opportunity to meet others. There is no pressure with regard to times or projects. Members come and go as they please and can choose to do their own projects, group projects or just socialise.

"Our Circle provides valuable opportunities for social interaction and building friendships."
-Lynne Harlow, Artist.

A great group of women

Some of the work of the Creative Ladies Circle

Community Mural

Red Ridge through the Red Ridge Foundation – and with a generous donation from Owen and June Stockwell – was pleased to support the Blackall State School with a mural representing native flora and fauna.

The Community Mural supported Blackall State School to transform a hard space into a creative space. The idea to enclose the western end of an undercover sports area for the students meant that the western sun would not become a visual hazard when playing sport. The brick wall provided an ideal canvas for Red Ridge to beautify with a colourful mural. Work took place over nine days with visiting artist Arthur Conlon, local artist Bob Wilson and community helpers, including Tony Kiernan and Kevin Holdbrook (affectionately known as Saucy).

Creating lasting community assets.

The concept and ideas unfolded from a blank canvas to a large work that brings life to the community and brightens a space that faces the public pathways. The vibrant mural features cut out artworks including a magnificent eagle, butterflies and dragonflies. These serve to enhance the mural by bringing the building space into the artwork.

Connecting communities, ages and regions.

A successful in-school program allowed students the opportunity to engage with Arthur Conlon. Students of all ages and grades had a stimulating, fun and inspiring day as they learnt new skills and different art styles.

"This is a great way to interpret and share local history, and native flora and fauna."
Owen Stockwell

Working on the mural

Savouring the great work

Shadow Puppet Theatre

A two-week artists in residency with Tamar Kirby in an open space studio supported the Blackall community to capture local stories using shadow puppetry. Four local stories were recorded and forty shadow puppets were made to complement each story.

Bringing generations together.

With support from the local Men's Shed a stage set was designed and built for a community performance at the Blackall Woolscour. Working with young and old participants through the workshop was fantastic and articipants just kept on making puppets and scene sets. Young people experienced the arts in a way they never have done before and elderly were socially connected.

"We came for one day and stayed for two weeks."
-Workshop participant

Demonstrating Shadow Puppetry