After the mighty Geelong Cats, there is no more recognisable icon of Geelong than our whimsical waterfront Bollards. Over 100 of these beautiful artworks adore our waterfront from Rippleside on the west to Limeburners Point on the east.
The works were commissioned as part of the Steampacket Place project and were designed and painted by late local artist Jan Mitchell who with her team spent countless hours building and decorating these novel pieces of public art.
The bollards were produced in a huge warehouse in an old wool store on the waterfront, where the new Deakin University school of nursing is being constructed outside Cunningham Pier. The program ran from 1999 and took several years to complete and much research went into every detail of their design. Their looks, clothing, artefacts and highlights all represent something about the character.
The bollards were constructed from timber salvaged from the Yarra Street pier which was destroyed by fire in 1988 and depict many of the events, times and people in Geelong's history, from the time when the Wautharong People were the only ones living in the region up until modern times with depictions of notable people like politicians and our lifeguards.
Some of the favourites include former Prime Minister John Howard, ex Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, explorer Matthew Flinders, A historic Geelong Footballer a rustic fisherman near Fisherman's Pier, a tram conductor on Steampacket Gardens and a lovely couple celebrating the Geelong Speed Trials which was once held along Richie Boulevard at Eastern Beach.
The popularity of the bollards has seen our local tourist body have two installed outside the international terminal at Melbourne Airport to catch people's attention and prompt them into thinking about coming to Geelong. They are loved photo opportunity for many international visitors, who help spread the message of Geelong worldwide with their digital snaps.