Historical information

This is an Aboriginal artwork that depicts a Goanna Totem. Designed by Ballarat-based, Gunditjmara artist Aunty Diana Nikkelson, the design is inspired by the artist’s totem and is a tribute to the first artists of the region, the Wadawurrung people. It acknowledges Aboriginal survival and the dynamic regeneration of the Aboriginal art and culture in the region.

The artwork is in-set to the basalt paving along Police Lane by a series of etched footsteps, which evolve from human footprints to goanna prints as viewers approach the rear of the Art Gallery of Ballarat. The artwork was originally located only outdoors and half of it was brought into the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2011, when the former Federation Plaza was enclosed to form the Art Gallery of Ballarat's McCain Annexe.

The artwork was created in 2006 as part of the cultural festival of the Commonwealth Games.


The artwork is of cultural and aesthetic significance to the people of Ballarat

Physical description

Sand blasted petroglyph forms into bluestone on laneway surface. The carved inlay of the Goanna Totem design into the bluestone of Police Lane (beside Art Gallery of Ballarat) continues inside the building.