Toowoomba Reveals Stunning Mural By Indigenous Artist

National Australia Bank

A large-scale mural by local artist David McCarthy has been unveiled at the opening of NAB’s new branch in Toowoomba.

At 1,200sqm, the space has a 25m-long laneway to enter the building which turned out to be the perfect canvas for lead artist David McCarthy (Ngarrumban).

McCarthy, a proud Gooreng and Kanalou man on his mother’s side and a proud Mandandanyi Gunggari Bidjara Mithika man on his father’s side led the project and said it represents the local township of Djaawoompa (Toowoomba) and its abundance of land animal plants and marine life.

“For me, this mural has a lot of detail in it that represent different aspects of Toowoomba that are relevant all across Australia,” Mr McCarthy said.

“For instance, the kangaroo and emu will always stand strong and tall, moving forward and never going back. They also represent Australia moving forward as one, acknowledging the past and moving forward into the future.”

“I learned to tell stories through art from my grandmother, my older brother and older cousins. They showed me how to draw on your culture and your surroundings to tell stories through art,” Mr McCarthy said.

“I’m inspired by the food, animals and environment around Toowoomba. By intertwining these themes with other culturally significant aspects in Indigenous culture, such as knowledge sharing and working together, the mural will aim to ‘teach our kids what we weren’t taught’.”

Toowoomba branch manager, Steven Platen, local artist David McCarthy and NAB Retail Executive Queensland, Chris Francis standing side-by-side in front of the mural
Toowoomba branch manager, Steven Platen, local artist David McCarthy and NAB Retail Executive Queensland, Chris Francis in front of the mural

Residents of Toowoomba may be familiar with some of David’s previous artwork. Thanks to his connections to both fresh and salt water, these themes are often expressed through his painting, which he signs as Thulaida, meaning Pelican in Muruwarri.

David has collaborated with local Indigenous Artists, William Haupt (Thira-Mayinj) and Daniel Blades from The Collective on the project.

NAB Regional Executive for Queensland, Chris Francis, said the mural was a fitting way to mark the opening of the new branch, which will offer a range of banking and financial services to the local community.

“David’s mural is spectacular. I’m proud that we could offer David such a large canvas. It’s a great testament to how committed we are to supporting the success of First Nations people and to celebrating their culture,” Mr Francis said.

David McCarthy standing with approx. 40 bankers from the Toowoomba banking hub
David McCarthy with the Toowoomba banking team at the opening of the branch

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