A RELIABLE old Toyota Coaster is a lifeline to the outside world for the Jubullum Aboriginal Community, so it deserved a very traditional facelift.
The community recently dipped into their collective artistry and with help from Northern Rivers Community Transport obtained funding to adorn the bus with a mural illustrating their traditional identity.
Similar murals now also wrap the buses of three other communities in the region at Bonalbo, Muli Muli near Woodenbong and Box Ridge Coraki.
Jubullum's new-look bus was recently unveiled at the Casino Community Gardens by proud community members.
The colourful mural that now adorns the bus represents the things that are most unique to Jubullum's identity.
The Rocky River which runs through Jubullum; traditional food - including kangaroos and witchetty grubs, turtles and echidnas - and hands representing the young and old of the community itself.
Jubullum Community elder Muriel Exton said the bus, now in service for 11 years, had enabled the residents to manage daily tasks most people took for granted. It travels thousands of kilometres every month, regularly ferrying the community's 600 residents on an hour-long journey to Casino, and beyond to Lismore and Evans Head.
In 2011, it even visited the Gold Coast to see the Indigenous All Stars in action.
Ms Exton said many people in Jubullum don't have licences, or cars, so the bus is essential.
"It's really good for the young mums. They use the bus all the time, not only for shopping. We really appreciate it."
"Even the kids going for sport. The kids in the community hardly went anywhere before we got the bus."