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Touch On, Melbourne’s Art Trams Will Be Designed Exclusively By First Nations Artists For 2021

By Kate Fleming
28th Jan 2021

A tram with the words

At 250kms long, Melbourne’s tram network is the largest in the world (low-key flex), so where better to display local artists’ work than on our iconic trams? This year though, the brief is different. For the first time Yarra Trams, Public Transport Victoria, Creative Victoria and RISING are exclusively calling on First Nations artists from Melbourne and greater Victoria to submit their work, in acknowledgement of Melbourne/Naarm’s Traditional Owners and First Peoples.

As a city built on the land of the Kulin Nations People, our tramways traverse sacred ground daily—across waterways, laneways, urban spaces and parklands. While the city continues to grow and develop, First Nations Peoples’ connection to country perseveres after tens of thousands of years of history. The trams will celebrate First Nations culture and give a voice to First Nations artists in a public forum, and bonus—they’re going to look awesome. 

“This shift to celebrate and support First Peoples artists with the iconic [art tram] program is a recognition of our stories and deep connections to the city…”, says program curator and RISING Artistic Associate Kimberly Moulton (Yorta Yorta). She will be looking for submissions that celebrate heritage and make that morning commute a ride worth remembering. 

There will be six new Melbourne Art Trams launched in 2021 and they’ll be navigating the network for twelve months. Expression of Interest submissions are open until 6pm on Monday, 1 February. 

Before you travel, find out the Aboriginal name for some of Melbourne’s suburban destinations here.

Image credit: supplied

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