Axedale's platypus unveiling: Video

UNVEILING: Representatives of Axedale Our Town - Our Future, North Central CMA, Friends of Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail and councillor Rod Campbell. Picture: ADAM HOLMES

UNVEILING: Representatives of Axedale Our Town - Our Future, North Central CMA, Friends of Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail and councillor Rod Campbell. Picture: ADAM HOLMES

At the unveiling of a platypus sculpture in Axedale, president of Axedale Our Town - Our Future Yvonne Wrigglesworth and sculptor Yvonne George talk about what it means to the town. Video: ADAM HOLMES

AS magpies sang and the water flowed, the Axedale community celebrated the completion of a new picnic area on the banks of the Campaspe River on Saturday.

The unveiling of a platypus sculpture capped off the transformation of the area, which included new picnic tables, benches and environmental signage.

Axedale Our Town - Our Future spearheaded "Project Platypus", a community project to beautify Axedale's natural asset, in conjunction with North Central CMA and Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail.

Group president Yvonne Wrigglesworth said the area had become a source of pride for the Axedale community.

"With the rail trail coming through, we had this real opportunity to beautify the reserve so that people who were actually visiting had a place to stop, have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful surrounds," she said.

The sculpture unveiling included a community barbecue, smoking ceremony and an explanation of the unique and rare aquatic mammal, the platypus.

The slow-moving waters along the Campaspe River through Axedale created an ideal habitat for the platypus.

Sculptor Yvonne George said she was proud to see the Axedale community accept her piece.

"The inspiration for the platypus sculpture came from sitting in the river, looking at the environment, the movement of the water, where the water was passing through the branches, where the rocks underneath were glistening," she said.

"The platypus is seen from two perspectives - one from above the waterline, one from below the waterline to catch the movement."

Launched in May 2013, Project Platypus also included the removal of noxious willows to reveal the open space as part of the Caring for Campaspe project.

The town's connection with the platypus came from both the potential for the creature to appear in Axedale, while the local school's mascot was the platypus.

Students from Axedale Primary School performed two songs in honour of their mascot at the unveiling and, along with a CWA craft day just down the road, celebrated all that was great about the small community.

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