New NBN cabinets unveiled

Mayor Trent Sullivan with artist Michelle Searle and NBN Co’s Nicole Paterson and Andrea Appleby. (Supplied)

Nine more National Broadband Network (NBN) utility cabinets now display the work of ten First Nations artists.

The nine cabinets join the seven completed last year, adding to the First Nations NBN Box Art Trail running from central Geelong to Marshall Reserve.

The First Nations NBN Box Design Commissions project, a collaboration between the City of Greater Geelong, First Nations artists and NBN Co., was developed in consultation with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative.

Artist Michelle Searle said she was excited to be a part of the initiative.

The First Nations NBN Box Designs… encourages the sharing of our culture and stories through art and raises the awareness of cultural safety in the environment we live in,” Ms Searle said.

“Just like our artwork, we are all different and on our own personal cultural journeys.”

NBN Co’s general manager of national stakeholder engagement Andrea Appleby said her organisation was proud to collaborate with Geelong council to transform the cabinets from a symbol of connectivity to a symbol of connection.

“These beautiful artworks are helping to share stories as a way to learn and celebrate the culture of First Nations people, and be a visual reminder of reconciliation in the community,” Ms Appleby said.

Mayor Trent Sullivan said the initiative turned the cabinets into platforms for cultural expression.

“Given our municipality has the largest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in any local government area in Victoria, we are thrilled to amplify the visibility of First Nations’ cultures in urban settings,” Mayor Sullivan said.

“The eye-catching designs not only give passersby the opportunity to pause and contemplate the deeper story behind the artwork, but also help to foster a greater appreciation for First Peoples’ stories in the community.”