Portarlington Pier has been transformed with 120m of stunning art celebrating Wadawurrung Country
05.08.2022

Portarlington Pier has been transformed with 120m of stunning art celebrating Wadawurrung Country

The new pier features artwork created by Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation – with hand-drawn illustrations etched into the structure’s glass and metal panels to tell the stories of place, water and journey.

Locals and visitors will be welcomed by Aboriginal art celebrating a sense of Wadawurrung Country when they visit the new Portarlington Pier on the Bellarine Peninsula – which is now officially open.

On Thursday, August 4, Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville announced the original artwork and works to upgrade the pier havd been completed, with a ceremony to be held next month to mark the occasion.

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The artwork – which spans over 120 metres – has been created by the Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung people, and displayed along a new covered walkway constructed from the foreshore to the ferry terminal.

More than 100 Wadawurrung families contributed to the artwork – with hand-drawn illustrations etched into the structure’s specialised marine glass and metal panels to tell the stories of place, water and journey.

The artwork compliments the coastal landscape and culturally significant local marine species including sea snails, fish, molluscs, and crustaceans, imparting valuable knowledge of the area’s traditional use over tens of thousands of years.

“This is such an important project for Portarlington – we’ve upgraded the pier and now locals and visitors will be welcomed by this artwork that showcases the stories of the area’s Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung People,” Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said.

“We’re proud to have worked with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to display this artwork on the new covered walkway and tell their stories of place, water and journey.”

Portarlington Harbour is an important focal point for the Bellarine Peninsula, providing significant economic and recreational benefits.

The $9.6 million upgrade to the pier saw major improvements take place – including a new, strengthened pier head to enable vehicle access for the aquaculture industry and emergency response crews. A new accessible low landing and rock groyne has also been installed to improve access to the water and protect harbour berths.

The upgrade has been funded by the Andrews Labor Government’s $24 million Piers and Jetties Stimulus Package.

“We know Portarlington Pier is a much-loved destination on the Bellarine Peninsula for locals and visitors, so we’re delighted to have worked closely on this collaboration with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to connect their stories and cultural heritage through this original artwork,” says Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne.

“The pier is now officially open and ready to welcome boaters, anglers and swimmers with the completion of upgrade works ensuring the area can continue to be enjoyed well into the future.”

More information about the upgrade can be found online here