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Welcome to The Bay PAV

This week we learnt that Council has employed brand design specialist, CITIZEN, to work with Council on branding and naming the $70 million Mackay Park pool and theatrette. The CITIZEN website describes themselves as “a strategic design consultancy focused on delivering engaging brands and experiences for people and places.” They say “We help bring brands to life through creating memorable brand experiences in built environments – spanning the retail, commercial and public arenas.” Council have had an issue with the name Batemans Bay Regional Aquatic, Leisure and Arts Centre from the start – it just doesn’t roll off the tongue. The name served its purpose though when Council was putting in for grants. The longwinded name told you where it was and what it was and included the key word “Regional”. But the name just isn’t a winner. The Centre needed to be given a cutesy, more accessible name. An example offered was the Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre in Moruya. It is now lovingly called The Bas (pronounced Bazz) , an endearing homage to the fact that Australians love to shorten names. “I’m off to the Bas”. “Just been to the Bas”. “Love the Bas”. So now, ably assisted by brand design specialist CITIZEN who have worked with Emirates SkyCargo, Macquarie University, Google and Western Sydney University to name just a few the community has been asked to consider a name for the Mackay Park project.

Councillors, stakeholders and community members attended sessions with the consultants earlier this month and showed general support for CITIZEN’s proposed three-tiered approach to branding.

This means one name would identify the precinct as a whole, the aquatic and arts centres would have their own names, and there would be possibility for further naming of areas such as the theatre, meeting rooms, and gallery.

CITIZEN presented attendees with three options for the overall precinct branding: Bay Pavilions, The Bay Pavilions or Mackay Park Pavilions. The CITIZEN representative said the name ‘Pavilions’ addressed the multi-function nature of the place and was “aspirational and fitting for an iconic building”. “Pavilion has been used in a contemporary context across leisure and the arts, examples include ‘Bondi Pavilion’ and ‘The Australian Pavilion’ at the Venice Biennale,” she said.

“The next step in the process is the refinement of the naming and marketing approach and the development of visuals, including a logo. In the coming months the community will be invited again to provide feedback on the work.” One of the pubic invitation branding sessions was attended by five people in all, being one with an interest in the meeting rooms, another with pool interests, a member of the Bay Players who admitted in having no direct interest in Mackay Park, but attended as an interested citizen and two state employees from Destination NSW

Presenting were two representatives from a consultancy engaged by the council along with Council’s Project Manager. The Beagle has been advised, of that meeting, that the idea was for a first tier name for the whole complex, second tier names for the major components ie theatre, swimming pool and third tier names for individual rooms. Those attending were told the lessee of the cafe will have the right to name the cafe as he/she pleases. In addition to naming the whole complex as "xxxxx pavilion", as in Bondi Pavilion, the front runner appeared to be Bay Pavilion, although other suggestions were made such Yuin Pavilion and Barton Pavilion. The three locals attending indicated they did not think much of Pavilion, nor hub, nor centre with quite a bit of discussion saying the name should reflect that it is in Batemans Bay, or the whole of Eurobodalla. The consultants favoured the former as Batemans Bay has more recognition elsewhere than Eurobodalla to which it was counter argued that the name should reflect the whole of the shire. The discussion raised the idea that the name should be an acronym or be able to be, in good Aussie style, shortened, such as Basil Sellers is known as " the Bas". There was some hint that naming could be open to a sponsor, but when I asked if that could become say "The ANZ pavilion", the consultants and Project Manager were adamant that it would not be the case. The laconic suggestion to just call it Mackay Park, as it was already widely recognised, did not go down well.

So if the name Bay Pavilion is endorsed in the end there is little doubt that it will come to be known affectionately as The Pav.


“I’m off to the Pav”. “Just been to the Pav”. “Love the Pav”. Be sure to let Council know how you feel about the naming of the Mackay Park Centre when it comes up for public consultation. Until next—lei


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