The iconic ‘Big Galah’ gets a makeover for its 30th birthday

For its 30th birthday this year, this 8-metre high Galah has undergone a much-needed ‘facelift’!

Image credit: Squashed Cocky

With domestic travel on the rise in the wake of the pandemic, there is no better time to explore our own backyard — and the newly renovated Big Galah should be on the top of your list!

Built in 1993, the iconic Big Galah stands proudly in the rural town of Kimba on SA’s Eyre Peninsula and attracts thousands of tourists every year, becoming a cherished member of the community.

For its 30th birthday this year, with funding from the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Project and the Community Benefit program, this 8-metre high spectacle has undergone a much-needed ‘facelift’!

The Big Galah came from humble origins, as a family-project initiated by Roger and Dianne Venning in the hopes of encouraging travellers to their gem shop, ‘Halfway Across Australia’.

Over the span of 18-months, with the help of their four children during the school holidays, The Big Galah was hatched — after shaping metal rods for the frame, using an 1800s wagon wheel bender, and undergoing the trying process of fibreglassing.

As part of a series of over 150 ‘Big Things’ sculptures across the country, The Big Galah provides an amazing photo opportunity for travellers heading East and West on National Highway and to this day is the reason many come to Kimba. New owner, Trevor Kassebaum, attributes The Big Galah to much of the tourist money flowing into the town. 

This year, artists Karen Carr and Jill Pantiyasa have reinvigorated and refreshed the icon, aspiring to portray the humorous and lively nature of these Australian birds.

The two artists spent 3 hours removing scaffolding to allow excited visitors to finally admire the galah, now brought back to life with 32 varieties of vibrant pinks and greys. Bright, cheerful patterns and designs are splashed across the statue, allowing it to glisten once more.

The Big Galah is now ready to charm travellers with her new dazzling look!

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