Yawa Aquatic Centre
‘To swim’ in the local language
of the Bunurong people
Animation & social
Animation & social
Yawa is a new state-of-the-art Aquatic centre located in the heart of Mornington Peninsula. The brand is designed to create a powerful and unique sense of place – recognising the traditional owners of the land through naming, language and cultural connectivity.
Studio Binocular were approached to develop the name and brand for this long-awaited $37mil aquatic facility, and to lead a process of community engagement to ensure the whole community could contribute to its creation in a meaningful way. The brief also highlighted the importance of respecting the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung people as the area’s First People, welcoming opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate their deep and enduring connection to the land and waters surrounding the new facility.
As Council’s largest ever capital investment, there was a huge desire to create a unique, ownable and ‘landmark’ brand to accompany the impressive physical space. There is nothing more unique than the peninsula’s 40,000 years of living history, and one of the brand’s great successes is its bold embrace of local indigenous language – to set the tone for a space which educates and engages the community.
We led a collaborative and inclusive naming process, including community suggestions, input from the local Land Council and recommendations from an expert naming panel. Ultimately the name ‘Yawa’ was chosen – a simple name with deep meaning and significance as it means ‘to swim’ in the local language of the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung people.
Water is an intrinsic part of life on the Peninsula – a land mass uniquely surrounded by oceans, bays and underground springs. Looking down at the Peninsula from above, we can see that it is surrounded by three main bodies of water – Port Phillip Bay, Western Port Bay and
the Bass Strait. Water is a genuine connector for the community. The Yawa brand language is built off the notion of water – which is often expressed through indigenous symbolism and contemporary western culture through concentric lines.
The three semi-circles which form the Yawa brand language
are designed to represent these three bodies of water, and
they connect and reconfigure in different ways to bring
dynamism and versatility to the brand.
A flexible brand language
Built off the simple, inclusive idea of a circle, the brand language adapts to create a unique and ownable set of brand tools for the multi-faceted space.
Documenting the brand
An interactive style guide provided the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council with the tools to implement the brand across their landmark facility.