Rowena Martinich - Joan Kirner Mural
Our stories

Chirping up sick kids

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Artists Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran were selected for this commission jointly funded by Western Health and the Western Health Foundation. Thanks to donations, this is the third and largest mural the Western Health Foundation has supported.

The latest mural is featured in high traffic areas of the children's ward to brighten up the otherwise sterile clinical space. Beginning in the foyer, children and their families are greeted by the colourful display, extending into the reception area and along the first corridor.

"This work is like a gateway into the children's ward, it differentiates the space as a place that is safe, welcoming and a bit less clinical than a typical hospital environment."

Rowena Martinich, artist
Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran

The couple spent three weeks on the commission and collaborated with staff who selected the quote on the welcoming piece in the foyer; 'Caring today for a healthier tomorrow". The quote was painted by Nurse Unit Manager and scripter Kate Ambry.

The artworks are proving to be popular with staff, patients and their families and were recently profiled in the Sunday Herald Sun.

"I hope that this work will provide a moment of distraction to patients and their carers, giving them some respite during a time that can be really stressful," says Rowena.

Limited edition prints inspired by the mural are available for sale, with 10% from the sale of each print donated to the Western Health Foundation. Visit for more details