Horsham Silo Activation

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Yangga Dyata Walking on Country

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY: Horsham Rural City Council acknowledges the five traditional owner groups of this land: the Wotjobaluk, Wergaia, Jupagulk, Jaadwa and Jadawadjali people.  We recognise the important and ongoing place that all Indigenous people hold in our community.  We pay our respects to the elders, both past and present, and commit to working together in the spirit of mutual understanding and respect for the benefit of the broader community and future generations. 

Horsham’s first silo art mural to feature story of reconciliation, resilience and great legacy

The Horsham silo and flourmill site will celebrate a little known but locally significant story of Yanggendyinanyuk, a Wotjobaluk warrior’s story of leadership, resilience and great legacy.  

The life of Yanggendyinanyuk’s (His Walking Feet in Wergaia Language) is embedded throughout Wotjobaluk Country (the Wimmera). While he was publically celebrated for his extraordinary tracking skills in finding the Cooper Duff children and for his part in the first Indigenous cricket tour to England, he also witnessed great loss of clan and Country. 

Sharing the story of Yanggendyinanyuk, signals how this community chooses to see its’ future self through the telling of its past. Importantly it visually and symbolically places the legacy of a truly remarkable Aboriginal leader that epitomises power, resilience, strength and achievement across redundant agricultural infrastructure. 

The project will bring new life and focus to the region through a commitment to reconciliation and respect, and as a consequence invite visitors and residents to explore the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage and living culture, led by our region’s first people through a key project partnership with the silo owners, Barengi Gadjin Land Council, West Wimmera Shire Council and the generously shared story by a direct descendant of Yanggendyinanyuk, and his life of Yangga Dyata - Walking on Country.

The artwork within the Silo Activation Project
is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria’s Creative Activation funding and Horsham Rural City Council.

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What will be painted on the silos?

The Horsham site contains two large east facing surfaces. The art work will acknowledge and celebrate a little known but locally significant story of Yanggendyinanyuk, a Wotjobaluk warrior who was publically celebrated for his extraordinary tracking skills in finding the Cooper Duff children in 1864 and for his part in the first Indigenous Cricket tour to England.  He witnessed great loss of clan and country while he navigated colonial culture working as a mail rider across the Wimmera and a boundary rider at Mt Elgin Station.

Yanggendyinanyuk’s powerful story is one of reconciliation, connection to country, resilience and humility. It has strong roots across several Local Government areas across the Wimmera including the West Wimmera Shire.  

Sharing the story of Yanggendyinanyuk, signals how this community chooses to see its’ future self and celebrate its past. Importantly it visually and symbolically places Aboriginal representations of power, strength and achievement over redundant agricultural infrastructure.


The Yangga Dyata - Walking on Country Story

Born in the mid-1830s on Wotjobaluk Country, the life of Yanggendyinanyuk (His Walking Feet in Wergaia Language) was one of both extraordinary achievement and leadership while also experiencing deep loss and grief.

While he has been publically celebrated as part of the first Indigenous Cricket tour to England, and his extraordinary tracking skills in finding the Cooper Duff children, he also witnessed great loss of Clan and Country and survived numerous epidemics and bouts of mental illness.

Having lived as a Warrior and Hunter of great skill, he then worked as a mail rider servicing Stations all across the Wimmera between Horsham and the South Australian border and also as a boundary rider on Mt Elgin station. He was an accomplished player of draughts, cribbage, billiards, boxing and cricket and was a life-long abstainer from alcohol.

In 1886, Yanggendyinanyuk passed away at Ebenezer mission, a proud husband to Eliza Townsend and father of 9 children.

Having been twice denied a grant of land as part of a government scheme aiming to attract European farmers to his country, today Yanggendyinanyuk’s legacy flows through his descendants and the Native Title over the Country he once walked and through the re-emergence of the ancient Wergaia language he once spoke.

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When will works start?

The project will commence on 23 April and will be finalised by 13 May.

On 27 April SMUG the artist (Sam Bates) will commence the works on the silo.  The painting will occur during daylight hours 7 days per week.  During the installation period of 3 weeks partial access to the footpath will be closed.  An alternative path will be identified with signage.  


Who will be painting the artwork?

Council commissioned the street art company Juddy Roller to put forward the names of several artists that would be available to create the work. World renowned street artist 'Smug', also known as Sam Bates, was chosen and he will mentor a young local indigenous street artist to paint a work in Horsham.


Why was Horsham chosen?

The Horsham silos are privately owned and managed. The owners are supportive of this community project for Horsham and the greater region.

The opportunity of some State Government funding came up to create large public art works to activate public spaces. Council was in a position to support the realisation of this project through project management and development of land use within the railway corridor.

Since 2016, the Silo Art Trail in Wimmera Southern Mallee has become a key destination for independent travellers keen to experience Australia’s largest outdoor gallery. Commissioned murals have extended into shires to the west and southwest, adding to the reach, interest and visitation of the trail.

This project seeks to strengthen the silo art in the Wimmera region, maximise Horsham’s location on the Western Highway (A8), support private investment in activating the Horsham silo precinct, create night time activity for visitors and develop routes to extend travel experiences and visitation into the west of Victoria. 

New cultural tourism opportunities will emerge through links with other Council areas where Yangenndyinanyuk’s story took place including the Jane Duff Memorial and the Johnny Mullagh Cricket Centre in West Wimmera Shire.

How will the community be consulted?

Initial consultations in the development of the proposal occurred with Barengi Gadjin Land Council on the story development, as well as the silo owners who expressed the intent to have their silo painted.

Development of the image will involve: 

  • Gathering of Yanggendyinanyuk’s story through artist and family conversations
  • Targeted engagement with key family stakeholders and business regarding the image development
  • Engagement with nearby residents
  • Project updates through Council media channels

How is the project being funded?

Creative Victoria’s Creative Activation Funding of $99,000 was secured for the artwork with a co-contribution by Council for the associated lighting design and parking and amenity works on the adjacent disused railway land. The owners of the silo/flourmill site also added significant co-contribution to the immediate maintenance works on the structure.

How will the project support visitation and tourism?

Horsham's new Silo Activation Project will be incorporated into the ongoing 'Grampians Way' and general Grampians Tourism platforms to attract visitors to the region.

The art work image on Horsham’s silo will feature Aboriginal Warrior Yanggendyinanyuk’s story and connect thematic sites across Wotjobaluk Country and LGAs through linked branding, digital access to information, interpretive signage and wayfinding. This will draw visitation into the adjacent Councils while also connecting to their painted silos as part of the Wimmera Mallee Silo Trail experience. The local Councils in which the Yangga Dyata Walking on Country story is embedded include West Wimmera, Hindmarsh and Ararat Councils.

The new Yangga Dyata Walking on Country Silo Activation Project will be added to the various websites promoting silo art trails including www.australiansiloarttrail.com and www.visitvictoria.com.au

The project is designed to be viewed in the evening with lighting design to capture the silo images at night. This value-adds to the tourist experience of the Silo Art Trail and encourages more overnight stays in the region.

Managing access and connection to the site

Placement of the mural on the east side of the silo was made in consultation with the site owners. This will ensure site lines and viewing points aim to reduce impacts on neighbours to the north of the site and take advantage of the end of Wawunna Road (north of the railway line) as a safe pull in, parking or viewing point.  

Council staff will work through details to ensure the site functions for pedestrians, site visitors, neighbouring businesses and residents. This will include engagement of local businesses and residents. Council is responding to potential impacts of increased visitation by developing a two-phased approach.

Phase 1 – Informed by concerns raised through the Horsham North Local Area Plan surveying, Council has developed a DRAFT Pedestrian/Traffic Treatment Plan which will address the immediate impact of increased visitation on local residents and businesses. Council will now further consult with nearby residents and other stakeholders to finalise the design before implementing the plan.

The draft pedestrian/traffic treatment plan can be found at:

  • Download here(PDF, 13MB)
  • Hardcopy handout available from Council reception
  • Displayed at the Horsham North LAP Consultations

1. Wednesday 16 March (4pm – 6pm) at the Neighbourhood House (13-15 Robin Street, Horsham)

2. Thursday 17 March (9am – 1pm) at Kalkee Road Children’s and Community Hub

Feedback on Phase 1 of the Draft Pedestrian/Traffic Treatment Plan 

  • Email to council@hrcc.vic.gov.au or
  • Hand deliver to Council reception, 18 Roberts Avenue Horsham

by Wednesday 20 April, 2022.

Correspondence to be marked Feedback - Yangga Dyata Pedestrian Traffic Treatment Plan

Phase 2 - Longer term Silo amenity development plans of adjacent open spaces is currently being scoped.