Dozens of our region's young adults are prompting people to be grateful after a "turbulent" year, their emotive images adorned on blocks mounted throughout Wollongong's mall.
What are you grateful for in 2020?
It's a simple question, and one which was posed to young people aged 12 to 24 for The Grateful Portrait Project which showcases the inner thoughts of 32 Illawarra residents until the end of December.
At this challenging time, it can be easy to overlook the good things.Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery
You will see Alana Maclean-Dowling's face on one of the billboards, smiling and covered in multi-coloured paint as "a broad representation of the arts".
The actor said the project was a reminder no-one was alone, as everyone has experienced hardships in 2020 - often affecting their mental health.
"Especially now it's so turbulent in what's going to happen - are we going to be ok, are we going to get another wave - it's just being grateful and being present in the moment," they said.
"What are we grateful for - whether that be people or experiences - for me it's my health and having a roof over my head and having my parents to support me."
The 19-year-old from Towradgi was the lead in a play with Rising Arts Productions, though the season cut short when the nation went into lockdown. It led into a period of no work and questioning the chosen career path.
"It's made a lot of creatives really question their passion for the arts and if it's really something that they want to pursue," the actor said.
"Throughout ...the instability, it made me realise acting and the arts is something I am so passionate about and it was really what kept me going, knowing there would eventually be more opportunities."
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the project is to inspire people to take a moment to pause and reflect upon the year and share the things they were most grateful for.
"Focusing on the positive can improve your overall wellbeing," he said.
"At this challenging time, it can be easy to overlook the good things."