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Port Macquarie-Hastings Bicentenary 2021


The Port Macquarie-Hastings region reaches its Bicentenary in 2021. In recognition of this milestone, a program of activities and initiatives have been planned to present an opportunity for our community to come together and commemorate our past; our present and our future. The program aligns with our Bicentenary vision, to walk our place and discover the stories that weave together to make Port Macquarie-Hastings the region it was, it is, and will be.

We're leading a number of key events, and inviting community groups, local businesses, and organisations to get involved and run additional activities to provide a comprehensive and varied experience.

The centrepiece of the program will be an immersive night-time legacy installation. Mesmerising art installations projected onto the façade of the Historic Courthouse on Clarence Street, Port Macquarie will weave culture and heritage in a world-class immersive story-telling experience. Set to launch on Saturday 10 April, the CBD will come to life with a number of COVID-safe night-time activities to explore.

During this period, we will also launch the Wauchope Bicentenary Riverside Sculpture Trail.  We're working closely with the Local Aboriginal Land Council representatives to identify further appropriate activities to recognise sites of historical and cultural significance.

The Program

There's plenty of opportunities for our community to get involved and participate in our region's Bicentenary program, including:

Hastings River Aquatic and Visiting Vessels Activities

An impressive display of marine vessels are setting their course for Port Macquarie, with river aquatic activities set to take place on the Hastings River between April 16-18.

The gorgeous Coral Trekker will feature as a key part of our Hastings River Aquatic activities.

Coral Trekker.JPG

During the tall ship's residency at the Port Macquarie foreshore, we are pleased to be working with TAFE NSW to provide Certificate I Maritime Operations students with the opportunity to complete their training in a fun and exciting environment.

The Coral Trekker will act as a floating classroom as the students complete the practical component of their course. TAFE NSW are still accepting enrolments in the Certificate I Maritime Operations course, so if you're interested in setting sail on a new career path and have a keen interest in maritime operations, enrol now to kick start your career!

If you're interested in maritime history, or you want to join in the festivities, experience sailing on this authentic and traditional vessel with a lunch or dinner cruise, or enjoy a 1hr sail trip up the Hastings River. For more information and to book your experience, click here or call (02) 8015 5571.  

There's plenty of other visiting vessels, and more action taking place on the Hastings River between the 16th and 18th of April.

Stay tuned for more information closer to the event dates!

Community Art Exhibition

Our community were invited to create an artwork in any medium to be featured in a Community Art Exhibition. Participating artists were required to interpret the exhibition theme, and 'create a visual response to the varied natural, cultural, historic and popular elements that make positive contributions to our local community.’

A huge thank you to all community members and local artists who submitted a canvas to take part in the upcoming Community Art Exhibition, due to be held at the Glasshouse.

Together with the Regional Gallery team, we will commence compiling the submissions and will be in touch in early March via the email contact details provided with next steps of when the exhibition will be on display between 10-18 April.  

We can’t wait to share the range of responses to the theme of ‘Creating a visual response to the varied natural, cultural, historic and popular elements that make positive contributions to our local community’ with locals and visitors alike.  

Awards will be issued for the best submissions in the following catergories;

Award Categories include: 

  • Best response to theme.
  • Best application of technique.
  • Emerging Artist Encouragement Award.
  • People’s Choice (voted throughout the exhibition).

Satellite Events

Community run events and initiatives will form part of our Bicentenary program to provide opportunities for our community and visitors to engage directly with activities that encourage discovery of place and the stories that weave together to form the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.

Our Destination and Cultural Development received plenty of expressions of interest, and our team is currently reviewing the proposed events, activities, and initiatives offered by community groups, local businesses and associations.

The Satellite Events will all take place between April 10-18, and share in our Bicentenary vision: ‘To walk our place and discover the stories that weave together to make Port Macquarie-Hastings the region it was, it is, and will be.’

PMHC support will include development of an online platform and printed booklet to capture all activities. Our Destination and Cultural Development Team will determine the Satellite program by selecting the events and activities that:

  • actively support inclusion
  • respect the diversity of our community
  • consider the region’s future generations
  • encourage multi-generational storytelling of all cultures
  • partnerships with enduring outcomes
  • enable learning by listening
  • respect the environment of our place - mountains, fresh and saltwater rivers, bush and ocean - and how it evolves over time.

Tasting, Arts and Cultural Trails

 Themed trails across the region will form part form part of the program. Local operators were invited to take part in the initiative to develop themed Tasting, Arts and Cultural Trails within the region.  Cultural, arts, creative, food, wine, brewery/pub, and producer businesses were encouraged to get involved with the trails, and our Destinations and Cultural Team are in the process of finalising the featured operators.

The Tastings, Arts and Cultural Trails will be launching these during our Bicentenary program, between April 10-18. The trails are set to be a permanent offering beyond the program, adding to the cultural fabric of our region. 

Educational Resources

Educational resources are being developed for our local schools to share in the history of our region, and for students to discover the stories that weave together to make Port Macquarie-Hastings the region it was, it is, and will be.

The free online education resource will be available online, for Stage 1 through to Stage 5 NSW Education History Syllabus based on Port Macquarie’s Bicentenary milestone.

The resources are set to be available ahead of our Bicentenary program.

Additional Projects

At the recommendation of Council’s Bicentenary Working Group (BWG), Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has endorsed two further initiatives for the Port Macquarie-Hastings Bicentenary 2021 to commemorate the establishment of Port Macquarie settlement:  

  • Port Macquarie Bicentennial Foreshore Project: construction and planning for sculptural elements from Westport Park to Town Green, including walkway upgrades from Buller Street to the Koolonbung Creek Nature Reserve Arboretum.
  • The Town Beach Flagstaff redevelopment: design, manufacture and installation of a replica 1821 flagstaff (80ft) and modified viewing platform located on Flagstaff Hill, at the eastern headland point of Port Macquarie’s Town Beach. Noting, at 1 July Council meeting it was unanimously carried this project be considered in the drafting of Council’s 2021-22 budget as a key attraction project, whilst pursuing suitable grant opportunities to plan and deliver the project by 2024. The project responsibility currently resides with Council’s Cultural Steering Group.

Things to note:

  • The Port Macquarie-Hastings Bicentenary 2021 program is subject to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Consequently, the program provides for event planning with minimal impact on delivery in a fluid regulatory environment. We will continue to monitor the restrictions leading up to, and through April 2021.
  • Funding opportunities from Austrade Bushfire Tourism Recovery Fund and PMHC COVID Recovery Projects have been leveraged to extend reach of the identified projects and amplify investment.
  • Gathang language and cultural design will be incorporated across the branding and marketing platforms to support cultural inclusivity in the event program.

 For more information on our Bicentenary:

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This page was last updated on: 04 March 2021