YARRAM'S Heesco Murals has won gold in the highly sought-after best street art trail category in the Australian Street Art Awards.
When hardship hit in 2020, the small Gippsland town of Yarram strapped on its thinking cap and began planning a new future.
It turned to street art as a secret weapon, adopting internationally renowned Mongolian-born artist Heesco Khosnaran to transform their entire town with 24 different murals.
The town was also recognised with a silver award for Heesco's Mongolian Light Horsemen Mural in the best monument or memorial category.
This mural was completed last year and depicts four local Mongolian brothers who fought in the Battle of Beersheba - sons of Chin Langtip, who moved to Australia in the 1850s.
In addition, the project coordinator, Wayne Tindall, has been recognised for his tireless work in getting this project off the ground and his long-running contribution to street art in Australia. Wayne was named as the inaugural recipient of the outstanding contribution to Australian art tourism.
Mural locations include the walls of MG Trading, the Federal Coffee Palace, the Alberton Pub, The Ship Inn and the bold new Bull Bar.
Adorning the wall of the coffee palace is a mural of Ralph the Bullock Driver. Ralph, who died more than 10 years ago, is remembered with love as a traditional old-timer.
He made shoes for the bullocks out of old car tyres and took his bullock train from Walhalla to Port Albert for the 150th anniversary of that town in 1991, a distance of more than 120 kilometres.
Yarram is a picturesque town, two-and-a-half hours; drive south east of Melbourne.
It is the ideal base from which to explore the cool temperate rainforest of Tarra Bulga National Park, the historic fishing village of Port Albert, the highest single span falls in Victoria, Agnes Falls, and the start of the world's second-longest uninterrupted beach, the 90 Mile Beach.
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