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Exploring Christmas Island's Murals with the Christmas Island District High School


At Gesso, we know that everyone has a unique story to tell, and our creator platform provides the tools to make these stories heard. We recently spoke with the Christmas Island District High School, who published a walking tour about the history of the island's murals, researched and narrated by local students.


Together, the students and teachers have beautifully illustrated how location-based audio content can be used to not just entertain, but also to educate and foster community engagement.


students standing in front of a beige wall that has an orange and white koi fish mural on it splashing through blue water, all painted on the wall
Photo: Christmas Island District High School

When we asked the teachers what inspired them to create the audio tour, they reflected on the influence of local tourism trends and the skills they wanted to teach their students. "In our enterprise studies we realised that tourism is our biggest/rising industry on Christmas Island," they explained. "We are also combining our Junior Ranger program in this subject area, which promotes conservation and sustainability of our local environment with students across the Primary and Secondary school. Part of this program is developing skills and knowledge in tourism - a growth industry on Christmas Island."


Teacher and students standing on steps in front of a mural of a ship
Photo: Christmas Island District High School

The teachers and students knew they wanted their project to focus on local murals. "We wanted to understand the stories behind our beautiful street art, whilst also addressing some gaps in the tourism market on our island," they said. They thought of different ways they could share this information with visitors. That's when Stephanie Niu, who is visiting the island as part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, introduced them to Gesso. Later this year, Niu plans to release two tours of her own that focus on Christmas Island's social and cultural life in the 1970s and 80s.


The teachers shared that the audio production process was a steep learning curve for them but found that our creator platform was straightforward. "The students focused on developing their stories and the teachers worked on production. It was a steep learning curve for us, but we found the Gesso app was easy to use. We spent a lot of time recording the students to get the sound levels even for the different voices. We also like that we can add multiple images along with the audio."


Their ultimate goal was to spark curiosity about Christmas Island, increase understanding of their culture and history, and promote tourism in the area. You can experience the full audio tour here.


two students standing on top of a mural painted on the ground. the mural is about ocean life and is painted with different depths of blue to look like the ocean with fish, birds, and other ocean life surrounding it
Photo: Christmas Island District High School

For those who wish to learn more about the history of Christmas Island, the teachers recommend exploring The Islander, their local newspaper. It has numerous articles and background information regarding the murals and the original project, "The Streets are our Museums," which inspired their audio tour. The teachers also wanted to express their thanks to Chris Su from the Shire of Christmas island in preparing this walking tour.


We're excited to see the innovative ways creators like the Christmas Island District High School continue to use Gesso to share their local history with new audiences. Join Gesso’s creator platform and share your unique stories with listeners around the world.


three students standing in front of a Paddington bear mural in Christmas Island, Australia. Part of the Christmas Island mural project
Photo: Christmas Island District High School

 

Gesso is an audio storytelling platform for creators of all backgrounds. Create an account and publish your own self-guided walking tours in any city. It’s as easy as dropping pins on a map.

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