Spectators at Heritage Bank Stadium will be welcomed into the stadium by the venue’s newest cultural initiative, an Indigenous muraI titled ‘People First’.
Designed by Bundjalung Artist Christine Slabb and commissioned on behalf of Heritage Bank, People First is an artwork piece inspired by the various experiences of groups of people within the stadium on an event day.
The artwork is situated inside Gate 1 at Heritage Bank Stadium and will be on display for the first time at this Sunday’s AFL Round 3 match against the Geelong Cats.
“I took inspiration from a personal perspective of coming to the stadium for an event and the pre-event activities that happen,” Slabb said.
Represented in the artwork are the numerous groups of people in the stadium on a Game Day including players, spectators, back-of-house staff and volunteers. The waterways that surround the venue also feature prominently.
“Some of the elements including people queuing up, in the rooms preparing themselves for the event and then the anticipation of people wondering through the stadium, looking for their seats, getting their food and beverages and getting ready to support their team,” Slabb continued.
“Being on the Gold Coast, Heritage Bank wanted to acknowledge the place and that’s represented by the elements of blues and teals. The coastline here is epic and you also have all the waterways that run through close to the stadium, so it’s bringing together both the salt and fresh waters that surround the stadium.”
Heritage Bank and People’s Choice CEO Peter Lock said, “The mural provides a stunning focal point that celebrates the sea, sky and sand of the Gold Coast. It also reinforces the importance of connection, culture, community, and the ongoing spirit of reconciliation.
“The design reflects a narrative of the Heritage Bank Stadium as a welcoming, inclusive place that brings together people from all walks of life.
“As a member-owned bank, our people first philosophy is at the heart of everything we do, and we’re delighted to share this with the Gold Coast SUNS through the mural and the stadium’s diverse range of community events and initiatives.”
SUNS Indigenous Programs Coordinator Jarrod Harbrow says, “As a club, we embrace and recognise people from all different cultures and backgrounds and this piece shows the journeys and experiences of all supporters who come to a game at Heritage Bank Stadium.
“We want events at our stadium to be inclusive and culturally supportive events. This is a small part of our ongoing cultural journey which we invite all our supporters to be part of.”