Street Art in Melbourne: An introduction to the city’s graffiti culture

STREET art might not be popular back home for some international students but in Melbourne, it’s a thriving cultural scene. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Melvia Khusbin, Vicky Xie and Tina Yao explore Melbourne and find their favourite graffiti spots around town.


Photo: Tina Yao

The urban jungle of Melbourne offers plenty of sights and sounds for those new to the city but not many cities treat graffiti the way Melbourne does. Often considered an eyesore in some countries, Melbourne embraces street art as a means for people to creatively express themselves using an alternative canvas.

For some international students, it’s a new experience altogether to see graffiti not as vandalism but as a means of creativity. And if you walk around long enough, you’re guaranteed to find locations with interesting murals.


Photo: Tina Yao

Hosier Lane and Rutledge Lane, located close to Federation Square, have awesome works of graffiti and are usually cited as ‘must-visit’ locales for local residents and tourists alike, especially those who might be photographers.

Those looking to find street art outside of the CBD can also find some great work done in Melbourne’s hipster suburb of Fitzroy, particularly at the Rose Car Park.

Here you’ll find imagery inspired by popular film characters, political commentary and other pop culture musings.


Photo: Tina Yao

Additionally, The City of Melbourne has acknowledged these two lanes (and several other lanes throughout the city) carry the spirit and essence of Melbourne’s graffiti scene; further championing the city’s beloved arts culture.

While international students and new visitors of the city now enjoy the vibrant images before them, street art in Melbourne wasn’t always like this.

One street artist we spoke with says that the city has taken great strides to change the perception of graffiti. Twenty years ago, it wouldn’t have been as celebrated as it is now.

Where are your favourite street art locations? Do you enjoy street art in Melbourne? Should there be street art like this back in your home country? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments section below!

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch us via

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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