In a partnership between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne, 40 laneways are being rejuvenated by more than 150 creative professionals who would otherwise have been without work during the pandemic.
The jobs are being supported by the Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria Fund, which has helped more than more than 13,500 people across the state find jobs in the past 18 months.
“Victoria has so many incredible artists and we’re thrilled to have created jobs for 150 of them that has also added magnificent colour and life for our city laneways,” said Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford.
“This program is a great example of how innovative partnerships can help people looking for work, employers looking for staff, and have a positive impact on the wider community.”
Creatives have now completed artwork and installations in 20 laneways as part of the Flash Forward program, with five works recently completed at Langs Lane, Rose Lane, Platypus Alley, Rainbow Alley, and Drewery Alley.
Work is now underway in other laneways around the CBD as the city prepares to welcome back visitors as vaccination targets are reached.
“We’re doing everything we can to bring people into the city safely as restrictions ease, and what better way than by transforming the city into an outdoor art gallery,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp.
“These new Flash Forward artworks present diverse perspectives while transforming our city with extraordinary walls of colour. If the CBD is in your 15km radius, we’d love to welcome you back to get your culture fix, off-screen.”
The program has been critical to keeping creative professionals such as Shawn Lu in paid work, who recently finished his artwork in Langs Lane.
Inspired by rugged terrain, the new-look laneway draws its viewers into a fantastical wonderland, evoking memories of old European landscapes and fairy tales.
“My normal sales and income that came from murals or commissioned artwork had completely disappeared overnight, so this initiative has been a lifesaver, and I’m not the only artist to say that,” said Shawn Lu.
“This has been a big help with my mental health, it boosted my confidence and helped me get back on my feet.”
Jobs Victoria is continuing to help Victorians recover and grow through assistance for job seekers and partnerships with industry and councils.
As part of the $619 million Jobs Victoria initiative, the Government is supporting people looking for work and connecting employers with the staff they need. For more information, visit
Image: Shawn Lu working on his artwork in Langs Lane – photo by Nicole Reed | courtesy of Flash Fwd