The next Riverina Police of the Year Awards will be boosted by a specially painted police riot shield and helmet.
Wagga artist Tyronne Hoerler is in the middle of applying his artistic vision onto the two items, which will form part of the awards’ silent auction in March 2019.
“It’s a big achievement,” Mr Hoerler said when asked about what the collaboration meant to him.
“I just want to show my little brother that anything is possible and to be a role model for him and the Aboriginal community.”
I just want to show my little brother that anything is possible and to be a role model for him and the Aboriginal community.Tyronne Hoerler, artist
Mr Hoerler, 20, is nearly finished with the helmet and will soon begin on the riot shield.
The Wongkumarra man describes his artwork as being part of the reconciliation movement.
His mother, Phyllis Morris, said she was “very proud of him”.
“The leadership he’s shown for the community, it shows young boys that there are better ways out there,” Ms Morris said.
“He’s a role model, really – he didn’t have an easy upbringing but his art is what inspires a lot of young people.”
The collaboration came after Riverina Police District’s Detective Sergeant Phil Malligan approached Mr Hoerler to paint the items.
“To be able to see a young local man showing leadership in the community has certainly been a pleasure,” Sergeant Malligan said.
It is not the first time the two have collaborated.
Earlier in 2018 when Sergeant Malligan went to Canada to undertake a course to combat domestic violence, he also took a couple of Mr Hoerler’s paintings to present to the country’s First Nations youth.
“As a result of that goodwill, the Canadian First Nations people gave me a handmade blanket and totem to Tyronne,” Sergeant Malligan said.
During a fundraiser for Wagga Women’s Health Centre in July this year, Sergeant Malligan, who is also a White Ribbon ambassador, presented the items to Mr Hoerler.
“It was then I asked Tyronne if he’d like to paint the items for the silent auction, which he was glad to,” Sergeant Malligan said.
“Certainly, Wagga police are a big supporter of Tyronne and his work with the community is great,” he said.
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