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Indigenous designs revealed on Brisbane’s newest riverwalk

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Brisbane city’s waterfront is undergoing a significant transformation with the help of local Indigenous groups.

Turrbul and Jagera indigenous groups have worked with Destination Brisbane Consortium to develop interpretive designs of animal totems that are important to the local Indigenous community, such as the echidna and snake, for the first public space to open this year as part of Queen’s Wharf Brisbane.

Since mid-2018, contractors have been upgrading a 500-metre section of waterfront, spanning from the Goodwill Bridge to the area behind 1 William St, to create a new segregated bikeway, recreational park and a pedestrian riverwalk – named the ‘Mangrove Walk’.

Destination Brisbane Consortium Project Director Simon Crooks said it has been an honour to work with the local Indigenous community to enable Queen’s Wharf to showcase Indigenous designs and storytelling as part of the 450-metre Mangrove Walk.

“The Turrbal and Jagera people have been generous enough to share some of their heritage and culture with us for the enjoyment of the additional 1.39 million visitors expected to walk through Queen’s Wharf each year,” Mr Crooks said.

“We have been working with the Indigenous community since before construction began to establish Cultural Heritage Management Plans and create these wonderful designs that will be admired by millions of visitors for many years to come.

“The interpretive designs represent totems that are relevant to the Indigenous people of South East Queensland and include a mullet, snake, echidna, emu, water hen, kangaroo, goanna and black swan.

“Working with our contractor Multiplex, the designs were carefully adapted and then sandblasted onto the concrete walkway that makes up a critical connecting point on the Mangrove Walk, either side of the QUT CityCat terminal walkway.

“The method of sandblasting and applying these totems to the walkway will ensure they endure the test of time.

“When the Mangrove Walk opens to the public, later in the year, the totems will be accompanied by further Indigenous representations including an audio installation that is activated as people walk past.”

The pedestrian only Mangrove Walk and Boathouse Pavilion along with Waterline Park, a new recreational park under the Riverside Expressway behind 1 William St, is set to open to the public towards the end of the year. The 500 metres of upgraded bikeway is also set to open late 2019.

Main image: (L-R) James Bonner, Madonna Thomson, Simon Crooks, Caroline Thomson, Geoff Hogg and Maroochy Barambah.

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