The final touches are being made to Taree High School's new mural which celebrates the unique culture of the Biripi people.
Biripi elder and school cultural adviser Uncle Russell Saunders OAM designed the mural about two years ago and was granted permission by principal Allison Alliston to paint it on a wall inside the school.
The mural depicts the fish dance, which is regularly performed by Biripi people at ceremonies.
Russell said the mural will be a reminder to current and future students about the importance of the dance to the Biripi people.
"When our people go to Saltwater and send the kids, women and men up the lake to frighten the fish down," Russell said.
"The men will be standing with their spears, and as they frighten them towards them they stick the fish and throw them up the bank.
"This story of the fish dance will be here to tell for future generations."
Russell has spent the past two weeks working on the mural with Benn Saunders, Josh Wood, Tannika Lewis and students.
"The kids have enjoyed painting with me," Russell said.
With a big grin on his face, Russell said the mural is situated in the perfect place inside the school.
"I knew it would work here," he said.
"I just wanted to leave something here with the stories of the Biripi people. It's a part of history."
The mural has already created a sense of harmony for teachers and students.
"I'm not only seeing the difference for us but the children, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal kids, and getting together with teachers," Russell said.
"We're all embracing this and I'm not seeing Aboriginal kids sitting on their own anymore, they're mixing with everyone else.
"They own this place as much as any other child."
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