A new artwork for Community Engagement

First Nations artist, Merindah-Gunya, recently created a new artwork for Shaping Banyule, and for our engagement equipment when we’re out and about talking with the community.

The artwork celebrates First Nations design and creates a more inclusive and welcoming space for the First Nations and broader community to participate and engage with Council projects.

To develop the piece, Merindah-Gunya worked with Council’s First Nations staff to create a design that shows connection to place and Council’s commitment to community engagement and Reconciliation.

Look out for the branded merchandise in the community and come and say hi!

View the video which includes an interview with the artist and recreates the artistic process.

First Nations artwork created by Merindah-Gunya

Artwork by Merindah-Gunya

The story:

In the words of the artist - Merindah-Gunya

This artwork tells a story of community connection and collaboration, through the rich tradition of Aboriginal storytelling. It portrays the enduring and harmonious relationship between Banyule City Council and the land, reflecting a timeless connection embedded in the cultural fabric of Country.

The central meeting place serves as a symbol of Banyule City Council, echoing its commitment to actively listen to the diverse voices within the community. This space becomes a metaphor for creating an inviting and resilient environment, a place where people can come together.

The river that flows through the piece pays acknowledgement to the significance of rivers and waterways for the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung peoples, the Traditional Owners. In the upper left-hand corner, three journey lines are seen, representing the past, present, and future endeavors of the Council.

The artwork shows a diverse array of figures—people of all shapes, sizes, and colors—forming a mosaic that radiates from the core of the community. This visual celebration underscores the truth that people are the heartbeat of any thriving community, symbolizing the inclusive spirit that Banyule City Council values.

Other symbolic recognition includes the hills in the bottom right-hand corner and the native animals scattered throughout. The hills are a reflection of the Council's name "Banyule" meaning "Big hill" in Woi-Wurrung language. The stars in the top right-hand corner are for past local Elders that played a key role in continuing culture.

Ultimately, the artwork stands as a gentle declaration of the Council's dedication to recognition and reconciliation with the First Nations peoples, fostering a harmonious coexistence that bridges the past, present, and future.