Newcastle’s biggest and most prominent harbour-fronting billboard has been given a new look thanks to local Aboriginal artist Saretta Fielding.
Visitors to Port of Newcastle will from today be greeted by a new welcome sign featuring Ms Fielding’s original artwork depicting the harbour and river landscapes.
The new design, which acknowledges the Awabakal and Worimi Peoples as the Traditional Owners of the Land, was installed on the iconic blue shed at Dyke Point in Carrington to welcome seafarers as they enter the channel.
The sign can also be seen from the Newcastle Harbour foreshore and as far away as Nobbys Lighthouse.
The Port’s Environment, Sustainability and Planning Manager, Jackie Spiteri, said the sign was not only a friendly gesture to visitors, but also an important acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the area that has been serving as an international trade gateway for more than 220 years.
“Newcastle harbour and the Port channel are arteries to the City of Newcastle – the lifeblood of our economy, community and culture,” Ms Spiteri said.
“The Awabakal and Worimi Peoples are the original inhabitants of this land and today are an integral part of our community and collective identity.
“Last year, Port of Newcastle launched a new logo to better reflect its vision for the future.
“The new signage brings all of these together to depict our identity – past, present and future.”
The production of the sign was a collaborative effort between Port of Newcastle and locally-sourced creators including Ms Fielding, local brand agency Cordial, and signwriters Broadley Signs.
Ms Spiteri said the collaborative project was part of the Port’s commitment to enhancing its contribution to the social, economic and environmental outcomes for the Hunter Region and NSW.
Ms Fielding said the commissioned piece tells a story of the Traditional Owners of the Land.
“The yellow lines to the left of the artwork reflect the shape of country at the harbour mouth and Newcastle’s coastline on Awabakal land to the south side of the entrance,” Ms Fielding said.
“The long, yellow sandy strip depicts the Worimi sand dunes on the north side of the harbour entrance, while the earthy tones within the waterhole and gathering circles highlight the people of Newcastle and is a welcome to visitors.”
Port of Newcastle’s logo emphasises its diverse operations. Produced by Cordial in collaboration with local production company Eluminate in 2019, the logo graphics highlight the Port’s deepwater channel, the berthing of ships and the network of distribution channels that are unique to the Port of Newcastle.
Port of Newcastle
Port of Newcastle is a major Australian trade gateway handling 4,600 ship movements and 171 million tonnes of cargo each year. With its annual trade worth about $25 billion to the New South Wales economy, the Port enables businesses across the state to successfully compete in international markets. With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia. As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port that realises its potential.