Public art trail’s 10 identities revealed

A photo of John Skandalis taken in 2005 turned into a mock painting (not what will feature on the art trail).
A photo of John Skandalis taken in 2005 turned into a mock painting (not what will feature on the art trail).

John Skandalis’ name has been screamed over the Campbelltown Sports Stadium PA thousands of times.

But he’s never had his portrait painted and displayed in public.

Next week that will change.

The former Wests Tigers player was one of 10 Campbelltown iconic identities chosen to be featured on an art trail in and around Queen Street.

The other nine people to feature are John Marsden, Ron Moore, Gordon Fetterplace, Sandra McDonald, Ron McDonald, Uncle Ivan, David Wilson, Annemarie Hennessy and Dr Rob Close.

The murals will start to be displayed next week, with an official unveiling to be held on Saturday, June 23.

Mr Skandalis has resided in Campbelltown since he moved to Minto as a nine-year-old.

The former Sarah Redfern High School student and Minto Cobras player said he was surprised to find out he’d be featured on the trail.

“I found out a couple of months ago that I might be one of the 10. I was humbled and honoured they thought of me to be one of the faces of Campbelltown,” he said.

Mr Skandalis rose through the junior rugby league ranks in Campbelltown and eventually become a mainstay in the front row for the Western Suburbs Magpies and the Wests Tigers.

Apart from a two year stint playing rugby league in the English Super League, the 249-NRL game veteran said he’d never considered leaving Campbelltown.

“There is nothing we (Campbelltonians) don’t have,” he said.

“There are great schools, shops and a university.

“It’s the perfect spot to raise a family and it’s getting better and better.

“I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.”

Solicitor and an art lover John Marsden is another who will be featured.

His brother Jim, said his selection among the 10 identities was well deserved.

“He did a helluva lot for Campbelltown during his lifetime,” he said.

“We are talking about an installation of art and John was as significant as anyone, if not the most significant person, in the establishment of the Campbelltown art gallery during the bicentennial (in 1888).”

Mr Marsden said he had a fair idea of how his brother would feel about being the subject of a public portrait.

“I’d like to say he’d be humbled but he wasn’t much of a humble person,” he quipped.

“But he would be very pleased and elated.”

The art trail is a Campbelltown Council initiative.