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Thursday 10 February 2022

Geelong has designs on tourists

Geelong is a very attractive small city that is an easy day trip from Melbourne. It is surrounded by wine regions and is home to several popular beach hamlets.

What most people probably do not know, however, is that Geelong is preparing to celebrate its title as Australia’s only designated UNESCO Creative City of Design when it hosts Geelong Design Week (GDW) from March 17-27.

Musician and actress Clare Bowditch will launch the 10-day program with an opening event at the Palais Theatre, a classic Art Deco building that has been refurbished after lying dormant since 2016.

Titled, Big Dreams, creative resilience and the stories we tell ourselves: an evening with Clare Bowditch, the event is open to the public with limited tickets available for sale for only $35 (plus booking fee).

Guests will enjoy refreshments on arrival, entertainment, and a discussion of how we can still dream big and show creative resilience despite the impact of Covid-19.

The theme for this year’s GDW is taur which translates as "belonging" in the language of the Wadawurrung people, Traditional Owners of Djilang (Geelong).

Wadawurrung artist Deanne Gilson has created a piece of artwork - Yalik Beek Murrup (Water, Country, Spirit) which will be the signature design for all the event signage.

Featuring the traditional mark of the wave pattern used by Deanne’s ancestors, the artwork’s synergy with the city by the sea is reflected.

More than 6000 people attended GDW in 2021, with 69 events held across the region.

This year's events will be grouped under the banners of eight themes including: Art, Craft, Fashion; Culture and Heritage; Equity, Inclusiveness and Encounter in the Built Environment; Learning, Knowledge and Research; Social and Community Services; Sustainability; Technology, Innovation and Manufacturing and Visual Communications and Multimedia.

Several of those sound like they could only have been thought of by a committee of numbskulls. "Equity, Inclusiveness and Encounter in the Built Environment"? Seriously?

Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan said the 10-day program will boost Geelong’s reputation as a design-focused city, while also providing a boost to the local tourism, arts and hospitality sectors.

“Geelong is a city that continues to reinvent itself through the use of creative design,” he said.

“Design is fundamental to the way we live. The revitalisation of our CBD with new cultural institutions and a rich design culture shows that Geelong continues to change and grow.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from our region and beyond, as we proudly present this inspirational, educational and dynamic event program.”

Go to for more information on the event program.

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