A new addition to Forest Fire Management Victoria’s (FFMVic) firefighting vehicle fleet will be turning heads this summer, after being wrapped in striking Aboriginal cultural identity artwork.

The Heywood-based Unimog is the first of FFMVic’s local fleet to feature the design by Aboriginal artist Tom Day, a Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta and Wemba Wemba man. Commissioned by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the artwork is titled ‘Mirring’ and represents the elements of land, mountain, water, fire, forest and ocean, and the scars that exist within the landscape.

The vinyl wrap design, placed around the reflective strips on the truck, is a demonstration of the department’s work to support and empower Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians.

The Unimog recently arrived at Heywood while another new Unimog has been stationed at Dartmoor, with the vehicles to help FFMVic provide rapid responses to bushfires and other emergencies over summer.

The arrival of new vehicles takes the number of Unimogs in the Far South West District to three, including a Casterton-based vehicle which proved to be a valuable tool in fighting the summer’s bushfires at Budj Bim and across the Far South West.

With a water-carrying capacity of 4,000 litres and room for four firefighters, the all-terrain Mercedes-Benz has double the capacity of other heavy tankers. Fitted-out with equipment specifically designed for planned burning and firefighting needs, the Unimog can also tow an additional 8,000 litres of water in a trailer.

The Unimog features a range of safety features, including a Falling Object Protection Structure above the cabin to help protect crews from falling trees and branches.

Find out more information about the Mirring artwork.

Quotes attributable to FFMVic Heritage Specialist Leigh Malseed:

“The artwork on the Unimog is an eye-catching demonstration of FFMVic’s commitment to work with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians in managing fire across the landscape.”

“There is a strong working partnership with the Gunditjmara community across the Far South West District, particularly with the large indigenous community in Heywood. As such, it’s fitting that the Heywood-based vehicle is the first in our firefighting fleet to feature the artwork.”

Quotes attributable to FFMVic Emergency Preparedness Officer Simon Sealey:

“These vehicles are a big step up from the previous models of heavy tankers, in terms of what they can achieve and where they’re capable of driving – particularly over the sandy soil in much of our region.”

“All our heavy tanker drivers are certified to be behind the wheel of Unimogs, having undertaken training which involved driving these tankers in challenging conditions including at night and across steep terrain.”

Page last updated: 22/12/20