Station art with heart

Aretha Stewart Brown in front of her Footscray station mural, To those in the struggle, the sunshine’s for you Photo: Supplied

By Goya Dmytryshchak

An indigenous artist from Williamstown has painted a 12-metre-long mural at Footscray train station telling the story of Melbourne’s west.

Aretha Stewart Brown, an 18-year-old Gumbaynggirr woman, was commissioned by Rail Projects Victoria to create the piece.

She made international headlines in 2017 by addressing a 50,000-strong protest in Melbourne calling for Australia Day’s date to be changed.

The mural, created with an all-female crew and titled,

To those in the struggle, the sunshine’s for you, features many instantly recognisable landmarks.

“The western suburbs is home, it is my land,” Stewart Brown said. “As an indigenous person who hasn’t had the privilege to live on country, I have tried to make up my own sense of what home is.”

She said home to her felt like Conway’s fish shop, the West Gate, Footscray Market and the Sun Theatre Yarraville.

The former Williamstown High School student said she hoped the mural would help create a sense of belonging.

“I had a hard time in high school and always found tranquility in visiting Footscray after school for a therapeutic banh mi,” she said. “I wanted to remind any other young people going through that experience … that you are not alone and that you are loved.”