Queanbeyan ‘bird lady’ Laurel Rosin remembered with mosaic memorial

Cass Proudfoot 1 February 2021 12
Magpie mosaic at Waniassa Park in Queanbeyan.

The new magpie mosaic memorial at Waniassa Park in Queanbeyan in honour of Laurel Rosin. Photo: Supplied.

A new mosaic memorial to local ‘bird lady’ Laurel Rosin is now in Waniassa Park on the Queanbeyan River. Laurel was the bird coordinator of Wildcare Queanbeyan for many years before she died in January 2020.

Local artist Alison Archbold was chosen by Wildcare to make the memorial. She is also a bird and animal lover and her Googong farm is a release site for rehabilitated blue-tongued lizards and eastern long-necked turtles.

Alison is a talented mosaic artist who also paints in water colour and acrylic. This is her first public mosaic, but she has done public murals in various buildings around Canberra and Queanbeyan. She also runs mosaic courses at her leafy garden studio.

The memorial mosaic took six weeks to complete.

“There were many days when I sat working for up to 12 hours at a time,” says Alison.

She made the mosaic in the studio at her Googong property, then installed and sealed the piece onsite at the park.

The memorial unveiling was an emotional moment.

Alison Archbold outside her studio with flowers and painted pots.

Alison Archbold has a garden studio at her Googong farm. Photo: Supplied.

“I was so humbled by the beautiful comments from her family, friends and colleagues,” says Alison. “There were many of us in tears.”

Laurel was a local character who loved a laugh and a long chat, and always brought her famous pikelets to Wildcare training courses. Native birds were always welcome in Laurel’s garden, with magpies, kookaburras, wattlebirds and many others popping by for a feed.

“Magpies were Laurel’s favourites and were a must in the artwork I designed for her,” says Alison, who is also a bird lover.

She has painted many birds during her career, including a large mural of parrots and gum trees for the entrance foyer of Capital Tower in Canberra city. She regularly paints ducks, chickens and budgies for her greeting card line. And magpies, of course.

“I have bred rare blue series budgies, predominantly golden-faced violets, for 42 years,” says Alison. “In fact, world-renowned photographer Leila Jeffreys came and stayed for three days while she photographed some of my birds as part of her worldwide exhibition.”

Three painted cards with blue budgies on them.

Alison Archbold breeds budgies at Googong and paints them for her range of cards. Photo: Supplied.

Alison has also bred Araucana chickens (blue egg layers) and French Marans chickens (dark brown egg layers) for many years. Her Googong property also sees many wild bird visitors.

“Magpies are most definitely a personal favourite, as are parrots,” she says.

Her Googong farm is also home to kangaroos, lizards and turtles, which provide plenty of inspiration for Alison’s artworks. The abundant wildlife has also seen Alison contact Wildcare for help during the years.

“We have called on them numerous times to help with wildlife issues on our farm, such as kangaroos stuck in fences,” she says. “They truly are incredible, hardworking and dedicated volunteers.”

Painted animal cards.

Alison’s painted cards are based on animals and flowers from her Googong farm. Photo: Supplied.

Alison would like to volunteer with Wildcare herself one day, but maintaining her property and garden, painting custom pet portraits and creating images for her cards, cushions and patented bottle cards means there is not a lot of time left.

“We sponsor Aussie animal rescue each year through our business, Archbold Design,” she says.

After pouring herself into the Wildcare memorial for Laurel Rosin, Alison’s choice for sponsorship this year was easy.

“I felt compelled to sponsor Wildcare next,” she says. “So we are now sponsoring Wildcare Queanbeyan this financial year.”

To see more art by Alison Archbold, visit her Instagram and Facebook pages.

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12 Responses to Queanbeyan ‘bird lady’ Laurel Rosin remembered with mosaic memorial
Wendy Hegarty Wendy Hegarty 1:36 pm 05 Feb 21

Larsen Jude look at this beautiful mosaic... Maybe one day we’ll be clever enough to make something so amazing🤩

Ann Eastwood Ann Eastwood 12:13 pm 03 Feb 21


Linda Leavitt Linda Leavitt 8:03 am 03 Feb 21

Lovely tribute!

Clare Josephine Clare Josephine 6:37 am 03 Feb 21

Karen Herrick .. its time to make pictures

    Karen Herrick Karen Herrick 6:39 am 03 Feb 21

    Clare Josephine I’m working on it, that looks lovely

Alessia Marisa Alessia Marisa 11:32 pm 02 Feb 21

Jade Donney how lovely!!!

Thervaini Ilolahia Thervaini Ilolahia 10:47 pm 02 Feb 21

This is beautiful ❤️

OrmeAnnette Brettell OrmeAnnette Brettell 10:12 pm 02 Feb 21

Amazing mosaic memorial- beautiful

Alana Matthews Alana Matthews 6:51 pm 02 Feb 21

This is perfection Alison

Lindi Loo Lindi Loo 3:31 pm 02 Feb 21

Archbold Design ✔ Good on you Alison 👏

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