Wominjeka – Welcome
- Brendan Kennedy
- Museums Victoria
Wominjeka – Welcome is the first stage of Museum Victoria’s First Peoples Recognition Project. Developed in collaboration with Tati Tati artist, Yulendj member and Honorary Associate Brendan Kennedy and features the language of the Traditional Owners of Melbourne and the Kulin Nation. Museums Victoria is committed to placing First Peoples’ living culture, histories, and knowledge at the core of our work. Wominjeka – Welcome makes it clear to visitors arriving at our museum that it is a place which honours First Peoples Sovereignty and continuous connections to Kin, Country and Language and celebrates the living culture of Koorie Victoria.
The design aims to represent first peoples in a contemporary and future looking way. The future focus is evident in the fresh and contemporary design approach, with a bright and playful colour palette that inspires a sense of joy and hope. The colours featured reference the vibrancy of our Australian native flowers and landscapes and are inclusive of our rainbow LGBTQIA+ community. Throughout the lockdowns of 2020 drawings of rainbows have also appeared in windows across the nation and the world as people have sought small ways of connecting with their community and spreading joy through a difficult time.
Wominjeka means welcome and we see this as a powerful message to our visitors as they arrive at our museum. As our society responds to the challenges of 2020, we want all members of our community to feel invited and safe in our spaces and encouraged to learn from the diverse stories that are shared in our museum.
When visitors approach our front doors, our hope is that the Wominjeka Artwork makes them feel welcomed, hopeful, and connected to this place, this country and the rich cultural history of our First Peoples. Design is used to instil a sense of pride in our communities and then all of Melbourne in something that is uniquely ours. It also investigates a new way of collaborating with our First Peoples artists.
When we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which our museum stands, the Boonwurrung and Woi Wurrung people, we recognise their unbroken connection to Country. When we acknowledge our history, we can better engage with the challenges of the present and strive for a better future for our community. The typography was selected to reflect the markings found on shields and artwork unique to this region. Not forgetting what has come before and moving forward with it as well.
This work is a collaboration with artist Brendan Kennedy and Museums Victoria – it was quick response to the ever-changing and fragile times that we are currently experiencing but a considered and well executed approach to make sure that First People\’s were consulted through every stage of the project. Working with vendors that were also under pressure to deliver under various restrictions and who still managed to execute beyond all expectations regardless of said restrictions.