Given this year’s NAIDOC Week is themed ‘Heal Country’, it was particularly fitting that Mogo’s new welcome signs, featuring artwork from Yuin Nation artist Tereasa Trevor, were installed ahead of the national event.
The signs wish visitors and residents a traditional Dhurga welcome, walawaani njindiwan, (‘safe journey everyone’), and feature a laser-cut image of Yuin Nation Umbarra – the black duck.
In the traditional Dreamtime legend, Umbarra is able to sense danger and can warn people of its impending approach.
Umbarra also represents artist Tereasa’s hopes for Aboriginal culture.
“That adults can fly freely sharing knowledge and culture, and that children can absorb this – be the best they can be,” she said.
The entry-sign artwork was selected by the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee, along with Aboriginal community elders, and the design was adopted at a council meeting last December.
Committee member Trish Ellis said there was strong support for the Umbarra representation.
“It was important for us that the signs acknowledged Eurobodalla’s traditional cultures and languages. Tereasa’s artwork is a beautiful representation and a fitting way to welcome our visitors and locals throughout the shire,” Ms Ellis said.
As well as the artwork itself, the signage also pays homage to the region.
Made of Cor10 steel, the sweeping curve of the signs represents both coastline and mountains of Eurobodalla.
It’s hoped that the metal will rust out to that orange-brown familiar throughout the shire and provide a perfect backdrop to Tereasa’s turquoise art.
Each installation also incorporates quarried stone, recycled timber and native plants at the base.
Locals on Facebook seemed largely impressed with their new signage, although there was a suggestion that the artwork could also have better represented Mogo as a town, as well as the region at large.
Community feedback was sought by council in 2019 following the adoption of its tourism wayfinding and signage strategy and subsequent signage style guide.
According to council, the Tourism Wayfinding and Signage Strategy Project aims to improve how visitors are guided through Eurobodalla in order to better access the range of services on offer.
The Mogo installation is the first lot of signage to be rolled out in the Eurobodalla, with more planned as and when funding becomes available.
In December 2022, council won a grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund which will assist with the delivery of further entry signs by May 2022.
Mogo was hard-hit by the Black Summer bushfires, and council says it’s supporting efforts to rebuild in the area.
Learn more about the project.