Stop 5.

The adverse effects of settler colonialism in the Australian context on the lives of the indigenous Australian population, as well as ethnic minorities, were severe and long lasting. As this mural suggests, native Australians suffered from violent and inhumane treatment at the hand of their colonisers. The justification for their treatment was that they were inferior due to their moral, cultural and civilizational deficiencies. Until now, western culture is viewed as being inherently superior to the culture of aboriginal people, and whiteness is privileged above all else. As indicated by the text in this mural, native Australia’s are not subjected to the same laws, or afforded the same rights as white Australians, rather, they continue to experience oppression as well as social and economic marginalisation as a result of state policy. The Northcote Koori Mural, which serves as the final stop for this tour is located on St George’s road Thornbury. It has been digitally enhanced and restored since it was first painted, but its message and key elements remain unchanged. One of the many reasons as to why I admire this artwork is because it was designed by a former Northcote high school art teacher in collaboration with members of the Aborigines Advancement league, which is based in Thornbury. The involvement of indigenous people in the creative process for me personally is important because it eliminates the possibility of cultural appropriation- which surfaces with Adnates work, and gives people the opportunity to represent themselves, as opposed to being oppressed by peoples interpretation and subsequently representation of them and their culture. Thus mural exposes us to various aspects of our history, and brings to our attention the ongoing struggles of the native population. Finally, it helps us to realise the power of Street Art in political activism, and how identities are built around land ownership.