Located on the east coast of Australia in the Illawarra region, 75 kilometres south of Sydney, the name Red Point is taken from the distinctive colour of the rock of the headland as it juts out into the Pacific Ocean.
The project involved an integration and celebration of Country through the provision of a landscape master plan of access to the point that is important to the local Aboriginal Wadi Wadi people as a place of fishing and observing the sea. This design approach created an opportunity to facilitate the intertwining of the stories of the local indigenous people into the fabric of the project.
The stories of the Wadi Wadi people are depicted in vibrant artworks across the site, that includes a 21-metre-long art installation, conserving the place that the stories were born and include tales of:
Hill 60 provided an elevated viewing point to observe ocean tides, schools of fish and any unwanted tribes. A community of cultures old and new, our hands are connected to each other by the trails that take us to our special places. The tale of two cultures coming together, seaweed “King Neptune’s necklace” shellfish is one of the many delicate seafoods gathered on the ocean’s edge that our people have survived on.
Acknowledging the East Coast tribal people, our land, our medicinal plants are a source of food, they grow in our special places.
The shoreline is our area for coastal fishing with our canoes and traditional woven nets, a special place connecting our past and present to the ocean.
Hill 60 is the campsite and tribal area of the Wadi Wadi. Mt Keira, the Women’s mountain, is connected to the five islands by our dreaming story of the Creation of the Five Islands.
Five daughters were thrown off Mt Keira by their father OolaBoolaWoo, the west wind on five huge pieces of the mountain. The daughters turned into mermaids after years of fretting for their sister Geera, now known as Mt Keira.
The campsites of the local tribal people are sitting on the high area of “Fishos Beach” the trails go down to the ocean. Boats and fishing nets are connected by corks and woven rope. People come together; many hands are used to share the load of work to pull in their catch. The ocean edge is our special place; a place of food, a place for survival, our kitchen of history.
The Wadi Wadi Tribe and neighbouring communities, Sydney and the Shoalhaven, are connected by our walking trails and campsites with special places for gathering and telling of dreaming stories.
The supplementary landscape planting was installed by the Indigenous land care group – Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council (ILALC) – these plants consisted of endemic coastal vegetation with plants being propagated from nearby Hill 60. The rugged nature of this dramatic and exposed site required an equally hardy but straightforward response that utilises concrete, stainless steel and basalt stone as a part of the overall works to the site.
The outcome is an asset that conserves Indigenous culture and stories in collaboration with the restoration and enhancement of the existing Sydney Water facility. Red Point has seen the successful maintenance and upgrade of the local natural environment, with renewed access and enjoyment for the whole of the Illawarra community.
Landscape Architecture: Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects Pty Ltd
Project Website: Red Point, Port Kembla
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
– Structural Engineer: Sastti JV
– Civil Engineer: JJ Marino and Associates
– Structural Landscape: Cleary Bros
– Planting Works: Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council (ILALC)
Client: Sydney Water
Artist/s: Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation
Design year: 2017
Year Built: 2021
Photographer: James Heron