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Publication date: Friday, 28 October 2016
Twenty years ago, Ted Bickford and his wife retired to Foster-Tuncurry from a working life in Sydney.
And this week, Super Ted was back in town to share his graffiti-busting secrets with Attorney General Gabrielle Upton in the lead-up to Graffiti Removal Day on Sunday.
Mr Bickford has spent almost every day of his 'retirement' cleaning up graffiti in his adopted home and thanks to his commitment and pride, Forster-Tuncurry is now practically graffiti-free.
"Ted is a 78-year-old superhero who has virtually wiped out graffiti in his local area of Forster-Tuncurry and it's great to see him spreading his anti-graffiti gospel in other locations," Ms Upton said.
In 2008 Mr Bickford was awarded an Order of Australia for his community work – both his graffiti removal efforts and as a mentor and supporter of young people. Super Ted regularly works with offenders who clean graffiti as part of their community service orders and he says this is some of his most rewarding work.
Mr Bickford believes there's no reason other parts of the state can't be graffiti-free. Some of his top tips are to get rid of graffiti quickly to discourage vandals, grow shrubs to protect bare walls, and teach young people to have pride in their town.
Super Ted has provided councils from Newcastle to Nambucca with advice about how to combat graffiti and the Mid Coast Council now provides Mr Bickford with a truck, chemicals, cleaning equipment and a mobile phone so he can operate a graffiti reporting hotline.
Ms Upton congratulated Mr Bickford on his success and urged people all over the state to volunteer for Graffiti Removal Day on Sunday, 30 October.
"Ted is an inspiration and while we can't expect everyone to show his level of commitment to graffiti removal, people can make a difference to their community by volunteering for Graffiti Removal Day," said Ms Upton.
"Volunteers will be provided with free cleaning material, paint, safety equipment and training on how to safely remove graffiti."
People can register or suggest a clean-up site at
Above: Attorney General Gabrielle Upton and Ted 'Super Ted' Bickford remove graffiti in Leichhardt.Above: Ted Bickford and his graffiti-busting truck, complete with 'Super Ted' livery with thanks to a local tattoo artist.