Art and Sole is an innovative, community-based walking initiative in Lilydale, celebrating creative expression through Indigenous art and culture, local history, and social connection.
A high number of car trips, high congestion at local services, low visibility of Indigenous culture and a growing, diverse population, outlined the need for a walkable, connected Lilydale with a strong sense of place and vibrancy.
Funded through a VicHealth, Art of Good Health Partnerships Grant, Art and Sole is a collaborative project between Inspiro Health, Yarra Ranges Council, and key community stakeholders the Wurundjeri Woi- wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and the Lilydale Historical Society.
A stand-alone sculpture titled Bour-deet created by Artists Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Kim Wandin and Christine Joy was installed on Country in Poyner Reserve Lilydale, integrating art and layers of culture with health and recreation.
Directional wayfinding signage and mapped trails were developed enabling improved pedestrian activity and walkability in Lilydale West. A curated Wurundjeri cultural narrative delicately balanced with a European historical narrative was made accessible via a web-based landing page, honouring intergenerational storytelling.
Values based health promotion messaging and links encouraging walking as an accessible physical activity in the Yarra Ranges were developed, increasing visibility and awareness of the many physical, mental health, social, cultural and environmental benefits of walking.
Following the launch of Art and Sole, footpath counters installed at key locations around Lilydale West showed an increase in active travel by over 14 per cent and visitation to Poyner Reserve doubled. Community consultation indicated that visibility of Indigenous identity, story, art and voice in Lilydale improved from 16 per cent to 37 per cent.