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Gateway signs to be updated after community backlash

By Jason Irvine

Broken Hill’s gateway signs are set to get a new look after City Council confirmed a re-design and updated signage following mounting pressure and backlash by community members.

In 2019 Council held a competition to design the signs of five main road entry points into Broken Hill and it was won by a Melbourne-based graphic designer and artist, Joe Scerri, from a pool of 73 entries submitted across Australia.

But following ongoing community feedback and disappointment the signs were not created by a Broken Hill local, Council agreed at this month’s full meeting to remove the current signs and replace them with five new signs based on Deanna Spicer’s designs.

She also created the signs for the recent Mundi Mundi Bash.

Ms Spicer said she was pleased with Council’s decision and was happy her designs would provide multiple stories to be told about Broken Hill.

“It feels great. I’m really excited for it to be going ahead, and I’m excited for the community because it’ll create a lot of free advertising for Broken Hill. People will take photos with it and post it on their social media accounts and other people will see that so it will have a real roll-on effect,” she told us.

“For me personally, that’s a real achievement, just having the support of the community, it just goes to show all those years that I put in to studying graphic design at uni paid off so that’s just the personal aspect of it. But more so for the community. I really love Broken Hill and I’m just so excited for these to be going ahead for the town, that’s more exciting for me than it being my design.”

The signs are also going to be made locally.

The five different designs tell the varied history of Broken Hill’s mining culture, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the pastoralist community, art, film and culture, and unionism – and the first one will detail the Silver City’s mining history and will be placed on Wentworth Road.
really encourage people to stay longer, take photos with the signs, promote Broken Hill, and then also go and see all those other things I’ve included in the signs.”

Jay Nankervill, Broken Hill City Council’s General Manager, said Wentworth Rd was an ideal choice for the first new sign.

“The project steering group for gateway signs identified Wentworth Road as the first site, being a location they were happy with in regards to the setting of the sun and its location,”Mr Nankervill said.

Mayor Tom Kennedy believes the community will be happy to see Ms Spicer’s designs welcome people into town.

“I think the community would be really happy. I doubt that even the detractors will be unhappy once that sign goes up on Wentworth Road very shortly,” Mayor Kennedy said.

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