NAB commissions local Indigenous artist for Toowoomba mural



  • NAB awards contract to local Indigenous artist, David McCarthy (Ngarrumban), to create community mural
  • Artwork will be inspired by Toowoomba’s Indigenous community and landscape
  • The mural will complete NAB’s $10 million upgrade of its Toowoomba banking hub


NAB has engaged local Indigenous artist, David McCarthy (Ngarrumban), to create a large-scale mural outside its new Banking and Business Hub in Toowoomba.

Indigenous artwork depicting four green turtles around a series of blue circles
David McCarthy has a unique style of painting to create his artwork

McCarthy was selected to create the installation as a visual demonstration of NAB’s commitment to banking for Indigenous communities and businesses as well as Toowoomba’s own passion for celebrating First Nations people.

McCarthy – a proud Gooreng and Kanalou man on his mother’s side and a proud Mandandanyi Gunggari Bidjara Mithika man on his father’s side – said his concept would transform the laneway and celebrate the local Indigenous culture in Toowoomba.

“I learned to tell stories through art from my grandmother, my older brother and older cousins. They showed me how to draw on your culture and your surroundings to tell stories through art,” Mr McCarthy said.

“I’m inspired by the food, animals and environment around Toowoomba. By intertwining these themes with other culturally significant aspects in Indigenous culture, such as knowledge sharing and working together, the mural will aim to ‘teach our kids what we weren’t taught’.”

Residents of Toowoomba may be familiar with some of David’s previous artwork. Thanks to his connections to both fresh and salt water, these themes are often expressed through his painting, which he signs as Thulaida, meaning Pelican in Muruwarri.

David will collaborate with local Indigenous Artists, William Haupt (Thira-Mayinj) and Daniel Blades from The Collective on the project.

NAB Executive, Retail Queensland, Chris Francis, said he’s looking forward to seeing the space outside the new banking hub transformed into a mural that represents the community.

Previous artwork of David's illustrating an Australian bushland and sunset backdrop.
An example of David McCarthy’s past artwork

“This is a public space, and it was important for us to ensure the local Indigenous community had ownership of telling their story through the mural, Mr Francis said.

“Toowoomba has a strong Indigenous history. Having a local artist share that with us is great for our community and is symbolic of our support for Indigenous customers and businesses.

“Mr McCarthy’s connections to the land, his unique style applying both contemporary and traditional methods of painting, and his passion for working with and supporting local artists, makes him the perfect artist to bring this space to life.”

Creation of the mural will begin in December 2023, and will be unveiled in February 2024, following construction of NAB’s new $10 million banking hub. The hub will bring together 100 personal, business and agri banking experts under the one roof.


About David McCarthy

David is a proud Gooreng and Kanalou man on his mother’s side and a proud Mandandanyi Gunggari Bidjara Mithika man on his father’s side.

His Traditional Aboriginal name was given to him by a Muruwarri Man, representing the connections to both fresh and salt water that is expressed through his painting. His traditional name is also us used among his family and friends, giving power back to the language of Country.

He is a celebrated First Nations artist and is on the Board of the First Nations and Culture Collective Aboriginal Corporation (FNACC), which is run for artists, by artists.

David has developed his own unique style by applying both contemporary & traditional methods of painting and incorporates traditional Aboriginal symbols that have been used for over 60,000 years.

Find out more about NAB’s specialised banking services for Indigenous businesses and community organisations on our website.

Images are downloadable from the right-hand side of this article.



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