Status: Closed

Public Art Policy Review

The City of Greater Bendigo's draft Public Art Policy for permanent and temporary collections, was open for community feedback on from May 1, to May 29, 2023. The draft policy was then presented to Council for consideration.

Council has now adopted the Public Art Policy.

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said the policy was important to provide direction and a consistent approach for public art created by professional artists or through collaboration with community groups and emerging artists.

“Public art is any artwork in a public space like parks, buildings, streets that is open to the public. It can take many forms such as sculptures, murals, digital art/projections, nature-based art, and sound art. The region successfully presents an impressive range of permanent and temporary public art works which have either been commissioned by the City, businesses or donated to the City. These works have been carefully curated and public art can often inspire different responses and reactions in their bid to be curious, creative, interesting, and even thought-provoking. They remain an important way to activate and beautify all kinds of public spaces and contribute in different ways to support our visitor economy and provide a sense of community wellbeing and pride. This new policy supports a clear direction in the planning, creation and maintenance of public art.” Cr Metcalf said.

There are more than 100 examples in the City’s public art collection. Temporary examples include Pennyweight Walk, where the artwork changes every few years.

Sometimes artwork is loaned for a brief period such as the eight-metre-tall Marilyn Monroe sculpture that was placed in the Rosalind Park piazza in 2016.

The Public Art Policy was developed with community input and includes the following principles:

  • Sustainable public art, placemaking and activations
  • Design excellence in public art
  • Express and represent the region's culture visually
  • Strong governance for public art
  • Grow a creative economy
  • Fair and sustainable arts practice
  • Upskill and train emerging and practising artists
  • Create better opportunities for public art

View the adopted Policy

To view the adopted Public Art Policy click the button below.


Chancery Lane Artwork

Chancery Lane artwork


We want to know your thoughts about the draft Public Art Policy and what art you would like to see in the City of Greater Bendigo in the future.

With your input we can measure community interest and understanding of public art. This will help plan for potential new projects, the type of art, themes and locations.

We will gather the responses, identify themes, community understanding of public art, and ideas the community would like to see, helping shape the policy. Feedback can support the direction of the policy and inform the type and general location of new public art projects in the future.

Public art projects must work within a framework including risk management and heritage guidelines.

The policy covers artwork displayed in public spaces and not on or in private spaces like the walls of private offices/buildings, private gardens.

Djaara Lights exhibition

Public art is creative work that is located in a space that is open to the public.

It can take a variety of forms and may be created by professional or amateur artists, individuals or groups.

The City of Greater Bendigo’s current public art collection includes work that has been created in the last year, through to monuments, statues and memorials created in the 1800's.

Some of the work has been commissioned by local government, developers or donated to the city.

Public art is made with the permission of the property owner or local council and does not include graffiti which is work that was created without permission.

Some common types of public art are:

  • Sculpture
  • Murals/Street Art
  • Digital Art/projection
  • Nature based art
  • Sound art
  • Interactive art

The City has over 100 statues, monuments and artworks in the permanent public art collection. This includes temporary art and infrastructure such as:

  • Pennyweight Walk, an open-air gallery of changing artworks
  • Chancery Lane street art which is a program funded for local talent and placemaking projects
  • Marilyn Munroe sculpture
  • House of Mirrors
  • Viva Bendigo installation, elevating the Elvis exhibition experience
  • Djaara Lights public art collaboration is a unique example of First Nations digital placemaking and storytelling.
  • Whirrakee Wattle statue in Huntly
  • Kinetic Art in Strathdale

All these projects bring vibrancy to the city for residents and business, attracting media attention and visitors.

Whirrakee Wattle sculpture

Currently a small part of the City's Arts and Culture budget goes towards public art.
Other funding is from external funders e.g. Djaara Lights was funded by Creative Bendigo.

Pennyweight Walk exhibition

Previous community engagement focus groups identified themes and outcomes that the community would like to see for the Public Art policy. These include:

  • Sustainable Public Art and placemaking
  • Design Excellence in design
  • Creativity is visually apparent in Greater Bendigo
  • Create greater opportunities and upskill local artists
  • Clear and easy to understand process and clear list of roles
  • Definitions for public art are needed and clear acquisition guidelines
  • Dedicated person responsible for public art in Council
  • Build a creative economy creating more opportunities for public art
  • Express the region’s culture visually
  • Diverse methods to source and fund public art
  • Create more diversity in public art typologies
  • Links to other Council policies and goals
  • Lifespan for the collection

No Longer on Mute exhibition

Bendigo Art Gallery's collection is not part of the scope of this policy

It is a strategy that considers every part of creativity in our community, recognising its importance to health, wellbeing and community development and supporting and developing its commercial aspects.

Greater CREATIVE Bendigo is designed to

  • Inspire a culture of creativity
  • Create more activated spaces
  • Nurture and support talent
  • Champion inclusion and access
  • Show the world

Greater CREATIVE Bendigo Strategy and Council Plan 2021 - 2025 Mir Wimbul outline actions for the City in regard to public art, the community play an important part in helping plan to achieve these actions, while creating a welcoming and vibrant city.

Kinetic Art installation

Policy feedback survey

Draft Public Art Policy

To help shape the development of the draft Public Art policy, a public survey took place earlier in the year asking about the community’s interest in public art and ideas for the future.

Public art is a creative work that is in an area that is open to the public. Common types of public art include sculpture, murals/street art, digital art/projection, nature-based art, and sound art.

The drafted policy is still relevant to, and aligns with, other City policies, State and Federal government regulations, the intentions of Greater CREATIVE Bendigo strategy and the Council Plan Mir Wimbul 2021-2025.

The draft policy sets out clear direction in the planning, creation, and maintenance of public art. It identifies the opportunities for public art, methods to deliver public art and potential projects.

This draft policy includes the following principles:

  • Sustainable public art, placemaking and activations
  • Design excellence in public art
  • Express and represent the region's culture visually
  • Strong governance for public art
  • Grow a creative economy
  • Fair and sustainable arts practice
  • Upskill and train emerging and practicing artists
  • Create better opportunities for public art



  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Survey opens for community feedback

    January 27, 2023

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Survey closes for community feedback

    February 27, 2023

  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Inform community of survey outcomes

    March - April 2023

  • Timeline item 4 - complete

    Draft policy opens for community exhibition

    May 1, 2023

  • Timeline item 5 - complete

    Draft policy closes for community exhibition

    May 29, 2023

  • Timeline item 6 - complete

    Submissions from community collated and considered

    June 2023

  • Timeline item 7 - complete

    Draft Public Art Policy presented to Council for adoption

    June 2023

  • Timeline item 8 - complete

    Inform community of outcome