Celebrating Diversity: The Middleton Loop Mural

A once blank external wall of my shared electorate office facing an alleyway now boasts a vibrant, new mural charting the journey of the Karen people of Myanmar to Albany.  

Designed by the Karen community through a collaborative process involving all-ages workshops, the mural demonstrates how art can be transformative for communities by bringing people together and telling stories that might otherwise go untold.

Working closely with artists Nat Rad, Renee Tan and Chad Marwick, leaders of the local Karen community, supported by the Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC and myself, brought their families and friends along on a grassroots arts journey, resulting in an evocative artwork expressing big ideas about diversity and belonging in an interesting way. The mural’s design represents their journey from conflict to peace, from struggle to prosperity and from despair to hope.

Featuring in the 2022 Art and Craft Trail, the mural showcases Albany’s multicultural diversity. Viewers can unlock and appreciate its meaning for themselves, however, there are clear messages in the mural about valuing democracy, stability, justice and fairness.

The Karen people faced significant adversity in their journey from Myanmar to Albany. Together, we are really excited to showcase this mural to the Albany community as part of the 2022 Southern Art and Craft Trail and we commend and thank Albany’s Karen community for this magnificent contribution to our urban space.

– Rebecca Stephens