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Bendigo tram to tell stories of local Aboriginals

One of the historic trams of Bendigo is set to be transformed into a moving canvas that tells the story of the traditional inhabitants of the area. 

Both the interior and exterior panels of a tram will be used to showcase the work of Aboriginal artists from the community, in addition to telling the stories of the Dja Dja Wurrung people. 

Bendigo Historic Attractions has partnered with the Dja Dja Wurrung community to make this possible, the Bendigo Advertiser reports. 

Acting chief executive officer of the Bendigo Heritage Attractions Wayne Gregson said the project will initially focus on the Dja Dja Wurrung people. 

Plans are already in place to extend the scheme and complementing the visual aspect with a new commentary on the tram. 

Rodney Carter, chief executive officer of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, said the project will allow the local community to explain the significance of their culture. 

Furthermore, it will also contextualise this Aboriginal community within both central Victoria and Australia. 

"For us one of the most important things is recognition and then with that recognition is for us to want to share the really beautiful and good aspects of our culture," Mr Carter remarked. 

He added that it was an honour that the orange Jimmy Possum tram has been selected for the project, as its owner Margot Spalding has worked hard to build a cohesive community within Bendigo. 

According to Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters, the project "ticked all the boxes" and will serve to extend the use of the city's trams as a means of carrying important messages throughout the area. 

A $12,500 grant from the federal government's Stronger Communities program is being used to fund the project. 

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