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Donna paints picture of inspiration

Local

Most people know Donna Chaplin as the face of the Centa at Elizabeth.

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But Centacare’s trusty Administration Site Coordinator is also a handy artist.

For the past year, Donna has been working on a giant mural which now looms brightly over the backyard at Hannah Place.

She sees the piece, centred on a mother figure and a rainbow, as a powerful sign of hope for young pregnant or parenting women under Guardianship who can stay at the service until the age of 18.

Many clients have spent their formative years in and out of home care due to unresolved family crisis, childhood trauma and other complexities such as mental health, sexual violence and drug use.

At Hannah Place, the young women are supported to develop their parenting capacity and bond with their baby and, if their child has been removed from their care, to work towards reunification.

“I hope when they look at this they’ll see there is always hope and happiness somewhere; you can find it over the rainbow,’’ Donna says.

“The main person is the mother, her belly is the map of the world which represents a pregnant belly and how different we all are, and her arms are the tree branches to symbolise that, together, we’re part of a big group.’’

Donna hopes the mural will inspire clients to pick up their own paintbrush and find comfort through creativity.

“I’d like them to think `I can do that too’ and start drawing,’’ she says.

The mural was made with donated materials including three sheets of plywood sourced by her husband Adrian and paint given to Centacare by Gary Johanson of Paint Supplies at Hendon.

Located at Pooraka, Hannah Place opened 10 years ago. In 2019/2020, the service supported 16 young women and 16 children.

Earlier this month Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson visited staff on site to learn about their roles and the trauma-informed support Hannah Place provides.

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