Generous to a fault: Community mourns loss of Gatton artist

HE was known for his vibrant murals, his music and his involvement in the community.

Now, those who knew him mourn the loss of Gatton artist and father of six Daniel Mackley, who died on December 30.

His stepmother Terrianne Mackley first met Daniel as a bubbly 2-year-old and watched him grow into a "an all around lovely" man with a penchant for painting.

"He shared his knowledge about his Aboriginal culture," Ms Mackley said.

"And he would help anybody who asked for help - even if they didn't ask for help, he would help anyway."

 

Daniel Mackley entertains the crowds with his didgeridoo at the Queen's Baton Relay in Gatton
Daniel Mackley entertains the crowds with his didgeridoo at the Queen's Baton Relay in Gatton

For his father's 49th birthday, Daniel composed a special painting.

"Just watching Daniel's face while his dad was opening the present … he was so proud," Ms Mackley said.

During his lifetime, Daniel's artwork has made its way across the world.

"He used to give his paintings away to people when he worked with them," Ms Mackley said.

"He's got paintings all over the world - he's so proud of the fact he has done that and the fact his name is not just in Australia, it's everywhere."

Throughout the Lockyer Valley, Daniel's art adds a splash of vibrancy to the region.

He has volunteered at schools in Gatton and Grantham, sharing his knowledge and skills with students.

 

Daniel Mackley, Kathleen & Michael Ott, Angela Bond and Idell Wadley display traditional aboriginal art.
Daniel Mackley, Kathleen & Michael Ott, Angela Bond and Idell Wadley display traditional aboriginal art.

"He was generous to a fault- he would give the shirt off his back to anybody."

Daniel's sister in law Debra Baxter agreed with his stepmother, recalling an instance when Daniel had removed his shirt to give to someone who admired it.

"They said they liked his shirt he had on and he literally took it off and gave it to them," Ms Baxter said.

"I only heard about that the other day - he literally gave the shirt off his own back."

Ms Baxter said her husband - Daniel's brother Wayne Mackley - broke the news of Daniel's passing to her.

"I just couldn't believe it, to be honest," she said.

"He is a very loved person."

She said Daniel talked about his art all the time and said her daughter cherished a boomerang she had decorated with Daniel's help.

"She still has her boomerang - Daniel went and showed the kids at Gatton State School how to paint boomerangs," she said.

"He painted all the time at home."

The family has launched a GoFundMe to pay for a memorial to be installed at Gatton Cemetery.

"We're getting all the children to do a painting or Aboriginal tribute to put into the wall," Ms Baxter said.

"His daughters can have somewhere to go when it's his birthday."

 

Anyone who needs help or support is urged to call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

NATIONAL 24/7 CRISIS SERVICES

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

 

 

Grantham State School students with artist Dan Mackley and teacher Libby Brain.
Grantham State School students with artist Dan Mackley and teacher Libby Brain.

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