Artist chosen to design Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal tram

A PROJECT that will deliver a tram celebrating local Aboriginal culture and history continues to roll on, with a young artist now working on designs for the vehicle.

Natasha Carter has been selected from among several applicants to showcase her artwork on the interior and exterior panels of the tram, which was formerly known as the Jimmy Possum tram.

Ms Carter said she planned to decorate it with depictions of local native animals, as well as flora.

“I’m hoping to do animals that aren’t super well-known to non-locals,” she said.

“There are so many animals people don’t know about, and you’ve got this giant canvas you can put things on and teach people about.”

Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation general manager Barbara Huggins said a panel including representatives from Bendigo Heritage Attractions and Bendigo Tourism had chosen Ms Carter’s artwork, with the applicants remaining anonymous during the process.

“They were all very good submissions, but that was the one that stood out to us,” consultant Chris McCormack said.

For Ms Carter, the tram project will be her first solo commission as an artist.

She has previously helped her aunty Wendy Berick with artwork for the new hospital’s children’s unit, and her cousin Drew Berick on branding for Indonesian coffee the Dja Dja Wurrung Corporation imports and markets.

Bendigo Heritage Attractions CEO Peter Abbott said there was “a lot of interest” in Aboriginal stories, particularly from international visitors.

Dja Dja Wurrung Corporation chief executive officer Rodney Carter said the project was “fantastic” for the local Aboriginal community, providing an opportunity to add the Dja Dja Wurrung story to a recognised part of Bendigo’s heritage.

“I think it will really instill a sense of pride,” Mr Carter said.

It is hoped the tram will be out on the tracks by early autumn.

Custom audio narration will eventually be installed on the tram to complement the artwork, with project co-ordinators now looking to source the estimated $15,000 it will cost.