It's not every day commuters are given the opportunity to sample emu kabana with Pepperberry crusted Cheddar on their ride to work.

Charcoal Lane, our social enterprise restaurant based in Fitzroy, VIC has teamed up with Yarra Trams for their inaugural Community Partnerships Program. We are one of eight community organisations chosen to design artwork to wrap an iconic Melbourne tram in a vivid celebration of the restaurant, Aboriginal culture and native food.

The design chosen, which launched at the end of Homelessness Week, was created by Wurundjeri-willam artist, Mandy Nicholson, representing native, indigenous ingredients that feature on the restaurant's modern Australian menu. It will catch the eye of commuters for three months.

yarra tram

"It was such a fantastic and humbling surprise to hear that Charcoal Lane has been given this great opportunity to wrap one of Melbourne's iconic trams with a unique artwork. From the outset, we wanted to work closely with the local community and be led by them on this project. We are thankful for the support and guidance of the Wurundjeri Tribe Council in helping shape our ideas into reality," Nick Temple, Restaurant Manager said.

Charcoal Lane enables Aboriginal and other young people to gain both accredited hospitality qualifications and professional experience within a supportive developmental environment. On completing traineeships at the restaurant, young people are well prepared to move into careers in hospitality or other industries.

When the tram design launched, trainees and restaurant staff gave passengers on board the tram a taste of native ingredient canapés like orange & almond meal cakes with River Mint icing.

yarra tram

Nick says he hopes the tram artwork will inspire the public to visit Charcoal Lane and in turn, learn more about Aboriginal culture.

"Our dining experience showcases ingredients most of our guests have never encountered and we relish each and every opportunity to share our knowledge. We hope the artwork encourages tram commuters to stop off at Charcoal Lane, and grow in their knowledge of Aboriginal history and culture," he said.

Subscribe for the latest news

Related news and stories

Read about what we’ve been working on, our stance on important social issues and how you make a difference to vulnerable Australians' lives.

Our founding purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'