Have you noticed some curious birds around Burnie?

The Burnie City Council, the Burnie Youth Council and the Public Art Committee worked together to create a public art project depicting the little known Tasmanian emu and the enigmatic Tasmanian tiger.

Cruise ship volunteers noticed that tourists were looking for potential ‘public art features’ with a distinct Tasmanian element where they could take their holiday photographs.

Burnie City Council Mayor Alvwyn Boyd said “As there were 32 cruise ships planned for this season, Council decided to install some bright and interesting street art to enhance the city for the many passengers, tourists and locals.

Local artist Damien Rossiter was commissioned to paint two murals; one depicting a Tasmanian emu and a Tasmanian tiger at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre and a second depicting the emu wearing his academic mortar board at the entrance to the Makers’ Workshop. These locations were selected due to their high visibility and traffic as well as the fact that they are close to tourist bus stops, where it is envisaged that they may instigate some interesting discussions.

Why the emu? Ask most Tasmanians and you will find that they never knew the Tasmanian emu ever existed. But yes, the Tasmanian species of emu ran wild across Tasmania until the mid-1800s. Judging by the few records available, the Tasmanian emu was fairly common in the northern part of the state, principally here on the NW Coast and hearsay tells stories of Tasmanian emus living in a wet Tea Tree area where the Burnie Arts and Function Centre now stands.

Now you know what you are looking for, keep an eye out for these creative pieces of artwork.

For further information please contact

Communications Officer
Burnie City Council
03 6430 5716 or 0448 568 728