Forest Fire Management Victoria's (FFMVic) latest firefighting vehicle features a striking image to showcase the ongoing support, and empowering of, Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians.
The Heywood-based Unimog is the first local fleet to feature the design by Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta and Wemba Wemba artist Tom Day.
Commissioned by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the artwork entitled 'Mirring' represents the elements of land, mountain, water, fire, forest and ocean, and the scars that exist within Victoria's landscape.
"The painting depicts Country," Day said. "The background colours represent the landscapes with sea country at the bottom flowing into the forest and grasslands country then we see the desert country flowing into the wetlands and into the mountain country.
"The foreground designs represent scars that have been left within the landscape by our old people, serving as reminders but more importantly guides to show places of importance.
"The four scar trees represent the four directions of north, east, south and west with spirits peeking behind them; this represents the our ancient connection and our inherent responsibility to protect Country.
"The boldest designs represent what is visible to us today with the powerful river standing out the other designs represent markings to signify ceremony.
"Each white line signifies our ongoing connection to Country by representing our generations that are our bloodline."
The Unimog recently arrived at Heywood while another will be stationed at Dartmoor. The vehicles will help FFMVic provide rapid responses to bushfires and other emergencies over summer.
FFMVic Heritage Specialist Leigh Malseed said the vinyl-wrap design is an important addition to the Heywood station.
"There is a strong working partnership with the Gunditjmara community across the Far South West District, particularly with the large Indigenous community in Heywood," he said.
"As such, it's fitting that the Heywood-based vehicle is the first in our firefighting fleet to feature the artwork."
The arrival of new vehicles takes the number of Unimogs in the Far South West District to three, including a Casterton-based vehicle which helped in fighting the summer's bushfires at Budj Bim.
Listen to the latest episode of our weekly podcast The Booletin and Beyond:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.