Why would I build a dinosaur? Probably a bit hard to join the links of social justice and a sculpture that represents a post-industrial version of a 130 million-year-old fossil that existed when mother nature was putting carbon in the ground, cleaning the atmosphere for future inhabitants. But for some reason I have made the connection.

I was looking for a niche, something that would be fun for the young men I work with to be part of something unique but also represented an integral part of our history. I am involved in the arts and social justice. I also wanted to expand on the tourism theme, as we had the ‘View to Asia’ sculptural event happening. I felt my dinosaur ‘Zika’ was the perfect fit to show off our incredible natural history, use my mind and get into building/construction mode which I enjoy.

I have spent my life doing things to solve problems, not necessarily things that are recognised in mainstream society or even valued, so carry on has been my motto and regard the satisfaction of having tried be the expectation. Social dysfunction in my short 56 years on mother earth seems to have increased or at least my view of it has so what to do about it? Suicide, domestic violence, substance abuse, social dysfunction, war, corporate greed, an ability to look away from the reality of tragic environmental destruction are all symptoms of a sickness seemingly destined to continue causing humanity distress.

Agunya, as a social enterprise as I will refer to it as a strategy to engage in a cunning stealth-like manner whereby the rewards for personal physical engagement are self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement that gives one the internal strength to make better personal choices.

Art as a healing process and a means of providing one with a purpose, has to be engaged in personally to actually benefit from the outcomes. Providing the opportunity for young people to benefit from the outcomes of this process has become my life’s ambition and seemingly the universe has joined in and the outcomes speak for themselves.

Now back to the dinosaur. It took about 3 years to collect all the bits from around the Kimberley from Halls Creek to the Broome Port. The parts are mostly old oil and gas pipe bits, Toyota Land cruiser parts and some earthmoving equipment. The tail fins are made from used concrete cutting blades. The main frame or structure is pivoted, like a spine, so she can articulate into different poses and be separated into several parts for ease of relocation.

Preston Buaneye was the main helper but other men from Community Corrections helped set her up on the day and as part of the work I do with Community Corrections I get a regular feed of men working off fines. She weighs about 200 kilograms.

The name Zika came from the Zika virus that has had much publicity in America and is thought to be a manmade virus so as Zika is manmade and pretty scary it seemed a fit. She is a Therapod, thought to have been around this area about 130 million years ago. She is going to be outside of Zanders Restaurant at Cable Beach for all to appreciate and ponder on the history of the dinosaurs and post-Industrial social issues!

If you would like to find out more about what I do and the organisation, Agunya Ltd is on Facebook. Come to our workshop in Broome, and always buy local to give an opportunity to a young person in your neighbourhood.

‘May we aspire to do more than we say’ - Andy Greig, Shelter for Life, Agunya 0407 307 037