Vibrant First Nations art wraps Geelong NBN boxes as a present for the community

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Vibrant First Nations art wraps Geelong NBN boxes as a present for the community

Pictured: Michelle Searle, Cr Trent Sullivan - Mayor of Greater Geelong, NBN Co's Nicole Paterson and Andrea Appleby
Words by Staff Writer

The City of Greater Geelong unveil their First Nations NBN Box Art Project which sees eyesore National Broadband Network boxes decorated in local First Nations designs.

Keep your eyes peeled to the sidewalks between Central Geelong and Marshall as art takes to the street.

The First Nations NBN Box Arts Project has wrapped across the region, with the once-eyesore utility boxes becoming works of art. Under the City of Greater Geelong commissioned project, The First Nations NBN Box Art Project has merged First Peoples’ stories, art and technology to celebrate the rich culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Geelong, all delivered through vibrant, expressive designs. 

Stay up to date with what’s happening within the region’s art scene here.

The NBN boxes serve as essential infrastructure to enable phone and internet providers to connect to properties. However, through the First Nations NBN Box Art Project, they go beyond their practical function, becoming public works of art that reflect the cultural identities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Geelong, shining a spotlight on our local First Nation talent, culture and stories.


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Ten local First Nations artists were commissioned to take part in the project including works from beloved art community members Norm Stanley, Nikki Stanley, Lowell ‘Salty One’ Hunter and Djamari Hunter, Billy-Jay O’Toole, Chloe Wegener, Jenna Oldaker, Michelle Searle, Ricky Abrahams and Bri Apma Hayes. 

Norm Stanley piece The Setting Sun of The Serpent depicts the artist’s burning passion for sharing Culture whilst reflecting on his childhood stories, and integrating memories and stories of his Ancestors. 

He explains, “I was told a story a long time ago about the red sky of the setting Sun. The colours that appear belong to the light from our Old Peoples campfires in the sky, lighting the way for the Serpent to travel. When I see those colours, it takes me back to my childhood when I first heard this story. Below is the landscape, and beneath the land are the memories and stories of our Ancestors. The fire burning there represents the passion burning inside me to share Culture.”

Jenna Oldaker’s Ton-Ton (Brain) uses a u-shaped symbol to represent the people on Wadawurrung Country moving around the tracks, weaving back and forth across the land sharing their stories, history and culture. 

The First Nations NBN Box Art Trail is a collaborative project between various stakeholders, including the City of Greater Geelong, nbn®Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal CorporationWathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative and local First Nations artists.

To find out more about each artwork and the locations head to the City of Greater Geelong website.