New South Wales - Australia

For some time I have been sending visitors who come to Griffith to look at our Commonwealth Bank’s counter, which is tiled with a magnificently painted history of the Commonwealth Bank’s role in the development of the Griffith surrounds, known as the MIA (Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area). 

Indeed, the stories on the tiled counter narrate the development of infrastructure and industries Australia-wide, and the vital role the "people’s bank".

I think this masterpiece by former local artist, David Byard, should be heralded as a tourist attraction for the town, but sadly, there is nothing about it at the Tourist Information Centre, and the Commonwealth Bank themselves do not have any brochures showing the beautiful counter’s rich historical epic.

Therefore, I have decided to photograph the counter, which the bank allow anyone to do, and to put it up on the Internet so that people interested in either the art for art’s sake, or the Commonwealth Bank’s own story (when it was really a bank for the Common Wealth of all Australians), can simply go to the website and appreciate the beauty and richness of the artwork and history.

The bank counter is quite long, as you will see from some shots, and it has all been painted on tiles and put together. The colours and artwork are exquisite, and have been blended skilfully from one "story" to the next, showing the industry which made Australia and gave us a country blessed with:

a high standard of living
rich mineral deposits
an innovative and successful agricultural sector which largely "rode on the sheep’s back"
a vital and profitable range of secondary industries both supporting and strengthened by the strong agricultural and mining sectors, and
a people who took pride in their work, their country, and their communities

I trust you enjoy your walk through history painted so eloquently by David Byard.

If you have any information about the history of the Commonwealth Bank and it’s role in Australia’s development, feel free to send it to the WebMaster, and we may be able to include it in this website for all to enjoy.

Please remember to visit this if you’re coming to Griffith. 

Should you be thinking of by-passing Griffith on a highway, consider calling in… not only to view this first-hand, but to see a wonderfully diverse inland city rich in a colourful tapestry of wheat, rice, wine-grapes, citrus, fruit, wines, "chooks" and water. All this by the way, is also recorded in a patchwork curtain at the Regional Theatre, which is well worth the look!



View slides by clicking onto following file numbers

Griffith_51a Griffith_52a Griffith_53a Griffith_55a


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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870