Arts Project Australia executive director Sue Roff inspects a tram with artists Cathy Staughton and Warren O'Brien. Photographer James Morgan.

Arts Project Australia executive director Sue Roff inspects a tram with artists Cathy Staughton and Warren O'Brien. Photographer James Morgan.

Yarra Trams has unveiled the eight not-for-profit community organisations that will share in over $1 million worth of free advertising across Melbourne’s tram network over the next three months, as part of its annual Community Partnerships Program.

Under the program, four not-for-profits – Arts Project Australia, Charcoal Lane, City in the Community and FareShare – will each fully ‘wrap’ a single tram in artwork that promotes their organisation and work.

An additional four organisations – Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Fitted for Work, HomeGround Real Estate, and safe steps Family Violence Centre – will be able to place their advertising on the front and back of 50 trams across the network.

Yarra Trams launched the program at the end of 2017 in order to support community organisations that promote diversity and inclusion. Applications for the current round opened in December 2017 and closed in February.

To be eligible, organisations had to be based in Melbourne, not-for-profit and actively making a positive impact in the areas of diversity and inclusion within the suburbs served by the tram network.

In March, a panel of representatives from the government, community and business sectors met to assess the applications and select the eight organisations.

The panel included Yarra Trams CEO Nicolas Gindt, Public Transport Victoria CEO Jeroen Weimar, City of Melbourne director of city communities Linda Weatherson, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton, Western Chances CEO Rhyll Dorrington, Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts and PwC CEO Luke Sayers.

First tram takes passengers

Arts Project Australia is the first organisation to benefit from the program, with its tram rolling out on the weekend of May 19. The studio and gallery supports artists with an intellectual disability by promoting their work and advocating for their inclusion in the arts community.

Artists Cathy Staughton and Warren O’Brien from Arts Project Australia each designed one side of the tram, which will operate on Routes 48 (North Balwyn) and 109 (Box Hill to Port Melbourne) over the next three months.

Staughton’s design focuses on Melbourne’s Luna Park, while O’Brien’s piece depicts the cityscape and lights of Melbourne’s skyline. Passengers can find the location of the tram by entering ‘3003’ in the MyTram section of the tramTRACKER app or website.

In a statement Yarra Trams CEO Nicolas Gindt said he is honoured to welcome the Arts Project Australia tram into Melbourne’s tram fleet for the next three months.

“Cathy and Warren have created incredible artworks to transform the tram, and are excellent ambassadors for all the artists based at Arts Project Australia,” Gindt said.

“I’m delighted Yarra Trams is partnering with much-loved community organisations that champion diversity and inclusion in Melbourne every day.”

Arts Project Australia Executive Director, Sue Roff said her organisation is “thrilled to partner with an another Melbourne icon in Yarra Trams”.

“The exposure of Cathy and Warren’s artwork on a prominent tram route for three months presents great opportunities for both increasing their artist profiles, associated sales and interest in their artwork,” Roff said.

Applications for the 2019 round will open later this year, with the program open to all community organisations that support a connected, diverse and inclusive Melbourne.