Portal 5: Symbols of Practice

Arts Rutherglen is thrilled to present the 5th Portals of Rutherglen, Symbols of Practice at one of Rutherglen’s most distinctive residences on Main Street.  A beautiful double storied Edwardian (1900-1915) dwelling, firmly in fashion in this period: asymmetrical in form,  featuring broken rooves with gables, of red brick and corrugated iron construction. Corrugated iron was commonly used in the country and front doors were elaborate often with leadlight paneling.(1)    

1906 to 2021.

The residence in Main Street Rutherglen

Dr Hubert Sheppard Bush purchased the land in 1906 and built the house in 1909. The premises included a surgery on the right hand side. Dr Hubert Sheppard Bush was first in line of four doctors to serve the community of Rutherglen from the premises. He lived, with his wife , Louisa and practiced in the establishment until 1916.  During this time he also served as a Shire Councilor.(2) After returning from the war (WW1) Dr Hubert Sheppard Bush became a Collins Street Specialist.(3) 

Following in his footsteps, and at the time the only doctor in town, was Dr Davies. He sold the practice to Dr Carl Albert Joseph Schlink in 1954.

Dr Schlink and his wife, Grace (Darb) became local identities. Dr Schlink “ known as Schlinky “  commenced his practice in 1946.  During his time in Rutherglen he continued to practice as all country doctors did in that era, being called out at all hours of the night and  he was involved in community affairs. He was a devout member of St. Mary’s Church, a member of the /senior Citizen’s Planning Committee. A life member of the local Football Club he attended all matches as honorary Medical Officer for 36 years as well as medical officer for the Shire.  The Schlinks entertained in this house regularly and with unsurpassed hospitality.  Dr Schink died in 1983 , aged 71.

Dr Salmon continued the practice for a short time after.

Massive medical advancements have occurred over the course of the 20th century, while these four doctors practiced , such as: the advent of penicillin; the eradication of TB and polio; the introduction of the” Pill” contraception; as well as universal health cover in the form of Medibank.

In 1984 the residence was purchase by Colin and Pam Ling, who moved in with their two children. The Lings have gone onto establish the only locally owned and operated Funeral Business in Rutherglen/ Corowa and Districts, operating the business for over 30 years as a trusted team with strong links to their local community. Colin being a Justice of the Peace for approximately 35 years. As well Colin has established a Real Estate and Valuation business and a driving school to service the locals. Like the Doctors that preceded them, the Lings are committed community members of 10 service clubs, emergency and sporting clubs contributing their skills and passions.  Like the doctors before them they are regularly called out at any time of the day or night including Christmas day!  They have become well known in the district for their motto “ we only let you down once”!

In 2013 a tornado struck and significantly damaged the building.  Four chimneys collapsed, roof removed and extensive water damage to the majority of the house. Four years of painstaking research and renovations by the Lings has brought the house back to its former glory.

Symbols of Practice 2021

The Symbols of Practice mosaic by artist Pam Fredericks beautifully represents life and energy coursing through the human body; through cells, veins, organ, DNA, and nerves.  The stethoscope and medical symbol of the snake are a tribute to the doctors and  healing the complex human body.  There is also the reminder that the cycle of life ends for all of us in the symbol of the coffin.

 2020 was the year the world was cruelly reminded about disease and the fragility of life.  During the Coronavirus pandemic the medical profession has been call upon to be our saviours and tragically, for many people, death and funerals are omnipresent.

As far as Arts Rutherglen has been able to research, we have been unable to find any local, artistic representations of the last horrible pandemic –the Spanish Flu of 1918/1919.  In Pam’s work, the Coronavirus lurks as a frightening part of people’s lives and something never to be forgotten.

The symbols depicted include the following… can you spot them?:

  • DNA- genes
  • COVIS virus
  • Nerve cells
  • Heart
  • Glucose atoms
  • Stethoscope
  • Veins and arteries
  • Rib Cage
  • Shoulder Joint

Please also look for the “hidden” wine bottle of Rutherglen.

1. Evans, Ian. & Lucas, Clive. & Stapleton, Ian.  (1984).  Colour schemes for old Australian houses, p.71. Glebe, N.S.W :  Flannel Flower Press
2. Lloyd, B.E. (1985) Rutherglen a history of town and district. pp 123 & pp 237. Wangaratta : Shoestring Press
3.  East Melbourne Historical Society Author Sue Larkin subject WW1 Acknowledgements Peter Fielding National Archives Australia,  Australian War Memorial archives 


About the Artist: Pam Fredericks

Concept design for Symbols of Practice ( in Pam's studio)

Image 1 of 7

Pam Fredericks artistic practice spans across diverse media  and reflects a love of the natural world, in particular the potential of our indigenous flora for diverse artistic expression. The strong forms of Pam’s mosaic art illustrate her love of design, colour, pattern and shape.

Pam is a graduate of the National Art School, NSW. Pam has a forty – year career in Art Education, teaching painting at TAFE and in the NSW Department of Education, teaching in secondary schools and as a specialist art teacher in small rural schools

Pam’s  early artistic practice focused on ceramic practice, specialising in Raku pottery and then painting.  Pam shifted practice from painting to mosaic art in 2000 and  has been engaged in full time commission work since. Pam has participated in many group and solo exhibitions. Recently she partnered with sister Joan Asmussen, fibre artist, and son Scott Fredricks, photographer, to successfully exhibit Next of Kin.