Sunday, November 25, 2012

Compelling stories gain momentum

The SCT Cultural Heritage project is gaining serious momentum as some of the regions most compelling heritage stories are being rolled out for visitors in the coming months.
The latest phase of the project will see development of physical and digital material to engage visitors in our unique stories and push them to other parts of the shire and to stay longer.
In particular the story of Old Tom and The Killers Of Eden will be featured as the backdrop to our incredible whaling and pioneering history.
Other stories include the Geo-features of the area and the current and historic contributions of our unique marine environment.
The heritage strategy directly tackles our over-reliance on short peak-season beach recreation and strengthen's our position in a high yield, low volume - all-season market utilising our rich heritage assets.
According to Tourism Australia research, domestic visitors looking for unique heritage experiences will be the only growth area in domestic tourism to 2020.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bermagui Workshop

We had a great workshop in Bermagui last Thursday evening.(11.10.12) A big thankyou to everyone who braved the rain, the winds and the sudden return to winter to participate in the first of our community / stakeholder consultations.
The workshop generated a great amount of material and ideas. We will be processing this over the next few days and preparing for the next workshop this Thursday at 4.30 at Bega in the Council Chambers.
Some of the questions raised in the meeting about Signage in the Shire are answered in the Shire’s Tourism and Facility Signage Plan December 2010. This document is 24 pages however about half of it illustrations and it is a very easy read.  Along with the other background reading it can be downloaded from

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Norway Inspiration
Here a is a document that my colleague Anthony Osborne picked up at the recent National Landscapes Gathering in Western Australia a week or so ago. The projects are based in Norway and while a national project demonstrate thinking outside the box , the role of good design and the relationship of landscape in building the experience. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dates & Places for Workshops Set

The dates and locations for the community and stakeholder consultations workshops to develop the design briefs for the strategy have now been set. They are

11th - Bermagui 4.30 - 6.30pm - Bermagui Country Club
18th - Bega 4.30 - 6.30pm - Council Chamber
25th - Bemboka 4.30 - 6.30pm - Memorial Hall

8th - Merimbula - 4.30 - 6.30pm Club Sapphire
15th - Eden - 4.30 - 6.30pm -  Fisherman's Club Changed to the Eden Country Club

Please pass this information on and let people know they need to register for the workshops so that we have an idea of numbers - for further information and registration email:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Workshop Readings

For your convenience the reference documents are now available to download from  Sapphire Coast Tourism's Web site
To save you some time we have pointed out the relevant parts of particular interest for the project and some highlights.

a.     The Sapphire Coast  Heritage Strategy

The aim of the Sapphire Coast Heritage Tourism Strategy is to identify key heritage tourism stories that will inspire the “Experience Seeker” market to visit the region, extend their length of stay and increase spending in the local economy;
The deliverables of this are:
·      A strategy that delivers heritage tourism and leverages the Australia’s Coastal Wilderness brand in order to encourage additional visitors to the destination;
·      Identification of key heritage tourism experiences that align with the needs of the “Experience Seekers” target market to extend visitor’s length of stay and dispersal across the region;
·      A suite of strategies to effectively deliver, develop, market and manage key experiences that are distinctive for the Sapphire Coast and create a competitive edge for the destination.

b.     The BVSC Draft Development Control Plan 2012
      The draft of this document went on Public Display in September 2012 and, together with the LEP, forms the land use planning and development controls for the Bega Valley Shire local government area.

This plan seeks to ensure that future development is consistent with the desired future character and community vision for the Bega Valley Shire’s towns, villages, urban settlements and rural areas.

        The document is comprehensive and of particular interest to the Heritage Strategy are:
section 2
section 3.1  Residential Locality Objectives
section 4.1  Rural Development Objectives
section 5.9  Signage and Advertising
section 5.9.4  Applications for signage page 162 an info graphic on signage applications
section 7  site specific requirements in particular 
section  colours

c.  The BVSC Adopted Tourism Signage Plan

The Tourism and Facility Signage Plan is an element of the Tourism Options Review completed by Bega Valley Shire Council in 2010. Its final conclusion was the rationalisation of existing uninformative, confusing and outdated signage and replacement with consistently coloured, coded and branded signage, which will ease the visual pollution and traffic confusion in the Shire.
        The info graphic mentioned in section 5.9.4, page 162 above, gives a straightforward overview of the regulatory expectations regarding signage. Reading C concurrently with B – 5.9.4 - helps clarify what could be seen as a quagmire.

        We are particularly interested in
3. Town Signage/Information Bay (page11)
6. Town exit signage/information Bay (page 17)
3. Brand, information and Icons (page 18) (sic)
d.      The Brand Toolkit, Australia’s Coastal Wilderness

      This relatively short, well designed and thoughtful document is what should be driving this project. What is our competitive advantage?
Find the uniqueness – your Destination Positioning
The first step involved locals distilling what Australia’s Coastal Wilderness has that isn’t found anywhere else in the world.
Destination Positioning workshops were held throughout the Landscape.
The goal was to discover and document the core positioning that distinguishes Australia’s Coastal Wilderness from other Landscapes throughout Australia.
This agreed Destination Positioning is not about an advertising campaign, a new logo or even a tag line. Positioning is the engine that drives the way you offer and deliver your product now and for decades to come. It permeates all experiences, creative approaches, communication and marketing.
It’s what differentiates you. It’s your competitive advantage.
This is the unique voice of Australia’s Coastal Wilderness. Positioning underpins the words and images we use to sell our Landscape to the world. The more consistently we all use those words and images, the stronger our message.

e.     Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Experiences Development Strategy

This is a comprehensive document and everyone should read it.

Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Positioning Statement
“This hidden pocket of Australia’s endless coastline is where you can get close and share your love of nature.  Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of tall forests, lakes and beaches in this unspoilt coastal wilderness”
Looking at Australia’s Coastal Wilderness through the three Tourism Australia lenses (below) it is clear that the destination builds on Australia’s ‘pillars’ of people, environment and lifestyle. It appeals to the core Australian holiday ‘motivations’ for self-fulfilment, relationships, health, freedom and provides a range of settings to deliver many of the core ‘experiences’, especially beaches, nature and Indigenous.

There is no place in Australia that can deliver this experience like Australia’s Coastal Wilderness. The natural beauty and its unique mix of isolation and sensitive development with its relative proximity to the major population centres make it truly unique.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stories and Signage

It is hard to believe that it is over three months since our last post. A lot has been happening behind the scenes.
1.     The Stories  - our editorial team has been mining the rich material from our research team and developing them into accessible stories. The first two of these

Are now available as downloads from Sapphire Coast Tourism web site. under things to do.  We are thrilled with the depth of information and feel sure it will appeal to not only our visitors but also as a wonderful resources for locals.

Work will continue on packaging the other stories over the next few months. Feel free to pass this information on to others. Concurrently:

2.     The next stage of the project is to work with the Bega Valley Shire Council in facilitating the development of a design template for a shire wide uniformed approach to signage while at the same time acknowledging the specifics of what makes each local special.

2.1       The Cultural Heritage Working Group’s specific focus is the Shires entrance ways /information bays at Bermagui, Bemboka and Eden and the major centres of Bega and Merimbula. To do so however we need to come up with some underlying core ideas as a start for a uniform approach and then the individual details for each town and village.
This is a great opportunity to consolidate and rationalise the Shire’s approach to design while at the same time taking into account the specific identity, values and expectations of each community as well as meeting State and regulatory agencies specific requirements

2.2       We will be organising five  community workshops in October and November     starting in Bermagui then followed by Bega, Bemboka, Merimbula and Eden. to develop design briefs for branding, town signage and information bays.
In the workshops we will be looking at icons, style and colour and most importantly what
represents the town visually and defines its “personality” and attributes.

2.3      These workshops will be informed by the following resources.
a.     The Cultural Heritage Strategy downloadable from the site
b.     The BVSC Draft Development Control Plan 2012
c.  The BVSC Adopted Tourism Signage Plan
d.      The Brand Toolkit Australia’s Coastal Wilderness
e.     Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Experiences Development Strategy

It is really important that anyone attending the workshops is familiar with this material.
Stay tuned. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Comprehensive and Rich Material

You will be pleased to hear that we now have the drafts from our five research/authors and the material is  comprehensive and rich. It has been a privilege to read it all and it is wonderful raw material for the next stages of the project.

I would like to say a big thank you to the writers and the reference groups from each area for their feedback.

Over the last few months I have been asked by many people what this particular part of the project is about and simply put - imagine it like this:

Imagine you visit a“place” either made by humans or by nature. You can appreciate it for itself and your appreciation is based on your own knowledge. Your own  knowledge is gained for example through experience, education, training, level of initiation, level of imagination or belief.  Every individual has their own lens through which they see things and the depth of seeing or understanding determines their interpretation reflected in the stories they tell about it.
Your stories are what informs us about what you are seeing or have seen.
Now imagine that you are visiting a place with someone else who has a different way of seeing. They know the landscape with a completely different set of “knowings” and as a result guide and enrich your knowledge and experience by the stories they tell. It could be a geologist, an experienced bush walker, an artist, a marine biologist, a conservations or a developer, dreamer, magician or a con man.
The material we have researched and developed in this part of the project can be seen as different layers of knowledge or ways of seeing aspects of the Sapphire Coast as part of Australia’s Coastal Wilderness. That is the layers of stories that weave their way through and underpin the landscape of our key heritage stories - The Meeting of the Waters, In the Shadow of the Mountains, The Killers of Eden, The Bundian Way and Naturally Inspired 

The next step in this process is to develop and identify the tools and techniques to make this information accessible to our visitors and stimulate them to explore more