Greater Shepparton: Aboriginal Street Art Project

Greater Shepparton: Aboriginal Street Art Project

Chris Walker

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In 2016, Greater Shepparton City Council came up with an idea to celebrate the local Aboriginal people and their culture through street art. Street art has become quite prevalent in Northern Victoria and if Greater Shepparton was to commence a street art project, it would be pertinent that the project links back to Greater Shepparton in some way.

SOURCE: http://greatershepparton.com.au/council/major-projects/aboriginal-street-art-project

The Aboriginal history and culture is rich within the Greater Shepparton region and what a perfect theme for a street art project!

Council, in discussion with the local Aboriginal community, noticed an interest amongst the locals in recognising significant figures who are not currently recognised within the region. Instead of the community putting their own hands up to potentially be featured within artwork, they felt it was much more pertinent to recognise their ancestors and significant elders that they look up to. The two names that popped up the most were Uncle William Cooper and Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls.

Consultation began with Rumbalara Cooperative, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, the local Aboriginal community and the families of both Uncle William Cooper and Sir Douglas Nicholls.

Both individuals were approved to be featured within a mural through both the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal Corporation Elders Committee and the Rumbalara Cooperative Elders Committee.

Research commenced regarding most suitable artists who have a proven record in painting large sized portraits of people. Given this project is going to feature portraits, it is incredibly important that the likeness is matched to a tee!

Goulburn Valley Water offered Council their wall on Fryers Street to showcase the first mural and have also offered Council the opportunity to showcase the second mural on the adjacent wall.

Council has committed to recognising two Aboriginal females that will be selected by the local community and both females will be announced later in the year.

(L-R) Merle Miller (Rumbalara Co-op, Elders Committee Member), Adnate (Project artist) Robert Nicholls (Nephew of Sir Douglas Nicholls), Aunty Pam Pedersen (Eldest Daughter of Sir Douglas Nicholls), Cr Kim O'Keeffe (Deputy Mayor, Greater Shepparton City Council) at today's Aboriginal wall art project in Shepparton.
(L-R) Merle Miller (Rumbalara Co-op, Elders Committee Member), Adnate (Project artist) Robert Nicholls (Nephew of Sir Douglas Nicholls), Aunty Pam Pedersen (Eldest Daughter of Sir Douglas Nicholls), Cr Kim O’Keeffe (Deputy Mayor, Greater Shepparton City Council) at today’s Aboriginal wall art project in Shepparton.