Mural painted by well known artist Adnate depicts the late William Cooper and the late Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls KCVO OBE MBE, both leaders who made significant contributions to not just the region but Australia as a whole.
The Aboriginal Street Art Project has been named by locals as ‘Dana Djirrungana Dunguludja Yenbena-l’ which means ‘Proud, Strong, Aboriginal People’ in Yorta Yorta language. This project is aimed at celebrating and recognising the local Aboriginal history.
Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls KCVO OBE MBE, who has an annual AFL round dedicated to him was born 9 December 1906 at the Cummeragunja Reserve and was a prominent Aboriginal from the Yorta Yorta people and is known to many as ‘Uncle Doug’. Sir Douglas Nicholls was the first Aboriginal person to be knighted and in 1976 was made Governor of South Australia. Earlier, during the commencement of his football career for Fitzroy, Sir Douglas Nicholls was subjected to on field taunts and ostracised by his team-mates due to his colour. Sir Douglas Nicholls was at an early stage changing in a separate change room to his team mates until he was befriended by team mate Haydn Bunton who ensured Nicholls was made welcome within the Fitzroy Football Club team. Sir Douglas Nicholls, due to his skill, vision and lighting speed, became a popular player amongst the spectators and is now recognised as a football legend.
William Cooper, born on 18 December 1860 and known to many as Uncle William Cooper was an Aboriginal political activist and community leader. William Cooper who was a Yorta Yorta man, campaigned for Aboriginal rights, particularly land and is also recognised for protesting against the Nazi Government of Germany due to their poor treatment of the Jewish people. William Cooper led a delegation to the German Consulate in Melbourne to deliver a petition which is recognised as the only petition against the Germans following Kristallnacht. On 6 December 2008, the 70th anniversary of the protest against Kristallnacht, William Cooper's grandson, Alfred "Boydie" Turner, also known as Uncle Boydie was presented with a certificate from the Israeli Ambassador stating that 70 Australian trees were to be planted in Israel in honour of William Cooper. 29 March 2017 will mark 75 years since William Cooper passed away in Mooroopna in 1941.
This is the first mural for Shepparton's Aboriginal Street Art Project, launched in March 2017, in partnership with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Rumbalara Cooperative.
Can be viewed 24 hours.