Anyone approaching Warrnambool from the east will experience an even warmer welcome that usual, with the city’s new entrance signage installed today.
Four separate panels showcase iconic Warrnambool imagery including a whale, penguins, a maremma dog, Norfolk Island pines and the city’s skyline.
In November 2018 four concept designs for a new city entrance sign were presented to the community for feedback. More than 200 people had their say, which helped to determine the preferred concept to base the new signage on while taking on board feedback for alterations.
An important component of the artwork for the signage panels was the integration of Gundijtmara language phrases developed in collaboration with Dr Vicki Couzens, Gunditjmara Language Custodian and Chairperson at Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.
Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert said that the sign would welcome visitors while instilling a sense of pride in the city.
“It’s a great sign of the pride that I think we all have for our city,” he said.
“I think it’s more like a work of art than just an entrance sign.
“It’s a really good statement for when people are coming into Warrnambool. They are getting a bit of a snapshot of what to expect.”
Cr Herbert also praised the work undertaken by Dr Couzens to incorporate local indigenous language into the panels.
“Warrnambool and the South West is a very important indigenous area so we thought it was fitting,” he said.
“There is a service road just past the sign, so we are expecting that people will pull over to the side, get out of their cars and have a really good look.
“The sign is saying ‘you’re here in Warrnambool, we welcome you and this is what we’re about.'”
The Council Plan 2017-2021 has a vision for Warrnambool to be a “Cosmopolitan City by the Sea” with a theme of “Growing Pride and Confidence in the City”.
The design and content for the sign intends to instil a sense of civic pride through the following values:
• Celebrate and express the stories of Warrnambool in an accurate, timeless and elegant manner
• Illustrate the family oriented, welcoming, and culturally inclusive focus for the city
• Connect and reaffirm Warrnambool’s coastal location and summertime vitality by using layers of identifiable and familiar iconography
• Create a sense of arrival and suitable branding for Warrnambool
The sign was manufactured by specialist gateway entrance signage company Danthonia Design Pty and installed by local contractor BDH Constructions Pty Ltd.
The total project cost was approximately $120,000.
As well as the design, manufacture and installation of the four panels, this figure includes traffic assessments and other civil engineering works that were carried out, indigenous art that was in addition to the original proposal, landscaping work, planting, water connections for irrigation and electricity supply connection for future illumination of the sign.