Kakadu National Park
[Brand Strategy] [Integrated Campaigning]

I had spent some time in remote Aboriginal communities during my work for Northern Territory Tourism, but my experience working alongside Traditional Owners to rebrand Kakadu National Park is a highlight of my professional career. 

The World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park was already an iconic international tourism destination. Yet despite there being a continuous living Aboriginal culture in the park for at least 50,000 years, there were only a handful of authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences for visitors.

As part of a ground-breaking Tourism Master plan led by John Morse AM, a decision was made to redefine the way the park looked at tourism including a major investment from the Federal Government into rebranding the park, international marketing campaigns and the development of Aboriginal-owned and run cultural tourism businesses.

Having led and won the competitive agency pitch for Frost, my role was to drive the strategy that would address the entire customer experience from the development of new brand identity in consultation with Traditional Owners, to a redesign of Park Ranger uniforms and interpretive content and tourism infrastructure spanning an area half the area of Switzerland.

The moment that really defined the project for me was working through the Brand Strategy process with 12 Traditional Owners from the 19 Bininj/Mungguy clan groups. This was not the time for powerpoint decks filled with copy, but rather one of images and feelings. Nor was it about value propositions, but rather as they would so aptly put it ‘finding the right bait for the hook’.

For a time we struggled with the identity and how we could possibly honour 50,000 years of continuous living culture from a studio in Surry Hills. So we flipped the script and took three Kakadu artists and Elders out on country and asked them to paint the one common story across all 19 clans - that of the Rainbow Serpent.