Established in Wollongong in 2012, Wonderwalls stands as Australia’s largest and longest running street art festival. Wonderwalls has delivered in excess of 140 murals by more than 120 artists from
around the world.

Wonderwalls has a proven ability to deliver a multi layered festival that creates tourism products, reinvigorates and fosters pride within a community & develops and enlivens a city, area or space.

The festival has helped to make significant improvements to the local government area through a number of means. One of the primary benefits is the increase in tourisim. The large scale murals have become a ‘Must See’ focal point and attraction of the Illawarra region.

Visitors to the Illawarra have specially gone out of their way and made time to visit the mural sites as part of their stay. This drawcard attraction has additional benefits to local business and cafes with increased foot traffic and visitors.

The festival has also been used as a tool to enable placemaking in the community. Not only do the murals increase the safety of the area, but also boost the morale and mindset of the community. They have also proven to act as a deterrent to graffiti and antisocial behavior.

Wonderwalls has become an pivotal event that business owners and locals alike, have completely embraced the festival, the artists and tourists over the main weekend event and visitors since then.

Their pride in ownership of their community, appreciation for the artists and unique artworks is something you can hear in their voices and through the stories they share of the experience.

The 2019 Port Kembla event was made possible to be the biggest and most outstanding Wonderwalls event so far, by securing a grant contribution from the Port Kembla Community Infrastructure Fund – an initiative of the NSW State Government. Wonderwalls also coincided as the perfect synergy to the long term ‘Port Kembla 2505, Revitalisation Plan’ to see the unique community undergo a transformation and process of reinvention.

Abstract from ICTC 2019 Conference
Author: Simon Grant, Founder, Verb Syndicate