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JOHN SO is the high profile Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, a former restaurateur who immigrated to Australia from Hong Kong as a student of 17.

JOY MURPHY WANDIN is a respected Wurundjeri elder, known as Aunty Joy who was born on her traditional country and still lives there today. She is the great-great niece of William Barak, who is known as one of the leaders of Coranderrk.



3 Nov 2006

Aunty Joy started the journey by offering a branch of gum leaves, from her country, to be passed around the tram to all passengers as a gesture of welcome. John So spoke of furthering reconciliation, and the proposal of establishing a new indigenous centre to the east of Federation Square near Birrarung Marr. And the controversial topic of having conductors working aboard trams again was raised.

Post to discussion


I have spent my life straddling two cultures, which superficially seem so diametrically opposed to the other. But scratch the surface and the similarities become apparent. Merge them together and the beauty appears. W-11 tram personifies all that. The interior of the tram is a laudation to the much-suppressed id in all our personalities. In a world increasingly coveting minimalism and searching for Zen, the tram screams its celebration of life, love and fun. The walls, the windows, the ceiling, the seats, the doors, every inch of the tram inside and out is painted in the most intricate and fanciful designs and images. My personal favourites I have to say were the Pakistan and Australian flags painted side by side and sometimes merging into each other, I felt they spoke to me personally as I’m sure many others on the tram felt the same about other images. Amongst the motley crew of guests cum passengers were a spattering of bemused tourists and slightly more bemused locals. But together we were all a wonderful crowd. An elder from an indigenous community, Joy Murphy, and the lord Mayor of Melbourne, Hong Kong born John So, officially launched the W-11 tram on the Melbourne circuit. Festivities got underway with the passing around of a small eucalyptus shoot as a welcoming of all and everyone took one leaf to represent their inclusion into the community. After which we had good old desi chai and samosa piping hot as if fresh off a Kemari khoka (food stall). The W-11 tram is an affirmation of the beauty of inclusion and multiculturalism that is Melbourne today.

Aliyah Mohyeddin
Monday November 27