Children’s activity: Draw a murnong

Drawing Upon the Murnong Murrup (murnong spirit)

Ballarat based Wadawurrung artist Dr Deanne Gilson has developed this activity! Deanne works primarily with painting, sculptural installation, clay, fabric design and cultural education.

Deanne’s art practice depicts native flowers and the importance of plants like the murnong daisy within a First Nations cultural context. The murnong daisy was a main food source for her people across South Eastern Victoria, pre-colonisation, and today there is a growing trend to re-plant the murnong. Deanne wants children and adults to create a murnong and bring its spirit back to life through art and maybe one day plant a real murnong (yam daisy)!


  • Grey lead pencil
  • Paper
  • A small plate and some glass jars of different sizes
  • Something to rule straight lines with
  • Eraser
  • Coloured pencils, paint, crayons or textas

Step One
Using a grey lead pencil, trace around a small plate or jar. Then place a smaller jar (like a vegemite jar) in the centre of the large circle and trace around. Try and centre it. Place a dot in the centre of the smaller circle.

Step Two
Draw four lines that radiate out from the dot in the centre of your circles to the outer edge of the largest circle you’ve drawn, so that you create a cross. Then draw four more lines in between these first four lines. Try and keep the spaces between the lines you draw even. It doesn’t have to be perfect though!

Step Three
In between the longer lines, draw eight lines that extend from the dot in the centre to the outer edge of the smaller circle. These lines will form the centre petals and guidelines.

Step Four
Starting with the smaller petals in the centre, draw the two outside lines either side of the shortest lines you’ve drawn to create your petals. Each petal has a zig zag edge on the tip. Repeat this process to create the longer outer petals and then erase the circle outlines.

Step Five
Bring your murnong daisy to life by colouring it in with pencils, paint, crayons textas or whatever you have available! Make as many as you want. I think a daisy chain would be fun. It would make a great gift for a special friend or carer.

Step Six
Find out more about murnong daisies or even ask your school to create a murnong garden. Enjoy!

©Deanne Gilson

Share with us!
Share your creations with us on TarraWarra’s Instagram and Facebook. Tag @TarrawarraMA and use the hashtag #TarrawarraAtHome. Happy making away from the Museum!

Deanne Gilson’s work is part of WILAM BIIK, curated by Stacie Piper. WILAM BIIK is an exhibition of cultural consciousness and knowledge, of an unsevered connection between First Peoples of South East Australia and their Country, over thousands of generations.

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