Image Credit : Photography: Geoff Hunter – Black Necked Stork



Project Overview

Blue Heart Sunshine Coast is a flag-ship project. This is the first time a local council, a state government and a utility have come together to protect and enhance a dedicated area for conservation, flood preservation and recreation purposes.

The Blue Heart is an area of more than 5000 hectares within the Maroochy River floodplain that contains important environmental features and acts as a critical flood storage area to protect the catchment from flood impacts.

It’s an area where effective land and water management will deliver a variety of integrated environmental, social and economic outcomes. These include ongoing agricultural activities and opportunities for conservation, water quality nutrient and vegetation offsetting, carbon farming and recreation.

Supporting change through innovative partnerships like Blue Heart, Sunshine Coast Council, Department of Environment and Science and Unitywater have committed to work together to optimise opportunities in the Maroochy River Catchment and proactively respond to climate change.

Project Commissioner

Sunshine Coast Council

Project Creator

Sunshine Coast Council


Sunshine Coast Council
Graphic Designer: Aisling Gormley
Chief Strategy Officer: Bill Haddrill
Manager Environment & Sustainability Policy: David Moore
Senior Natural Environment Project Officer: Jaimi Webster
Communication Officer: Kelsey O'Connor

Department of Environment and Science
Director Land Restoration Fund, Environmental Policy and Programs: Megan Surawski
Chief Scientist Land Restoration Fund, Environmental Policy and Programs: Don Butler
Manager Wetlands, Environmental Policy and Programs: Mike Ronan

Unity Water
Manager Infrastructure Planning and Development: Ashley Lorenz
Environmental Affairs Manager, Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions: Kylie Crouch

Project Brief

Deliver a unique and memorable brand to represent the Blue Heart project.

The brand needs to consider the physical floodplain location including its native plants and animals, but also incorporate some historic and cultural symbology.

The logo is to be delivered with an accompanying brand guideline, including colour palette and unique graphical elements, such as a motif.

The branding needs to be strong and must sit nicely alongside the Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland Government and Unitywater logos.

Project Innovation/Need

Through the use of cultural and environmental inspiration a brand has been created to represent Blue Heart Sunshine Coast.

Cultural inspiration was drawn from the Kabi Kabi peoples Coastal Story of the Maroochy River area. It’s a romantic story about a young girl, ‘Maroochy’ and two warriors, ‘Ninderry’ and ‘Coolum’. The Kabi Kabi story also stated that Maroochy turned herself into a Black Swan. The bird beak within the logo therefore represents both Maroochy and the native Black Swan. Through the use of this symbology the Blue Heart brand acknowledges and respects the cultural significance of land within the Maroochy River Catchment.

Inspiration was also drawn from the significant environmental values of the Blue Heart area. The external heart shape represents the name ‘Blue Heart’ and the area when it's inundated. The bird shapes symbolise the significant bird species native to the area and the stylised beak specifically recognises the native Black Swan. The vegetation represents a native plant and the transitioning landscape as the Blue Heart area returns to its natural wetland state, and presents new opportunities for land management.

Each element of the design has been meticulously chosen to represent important elements of the project, but fundamentally the brand provides Blue Heart Sunshine Coast with an identity – something tangible, that not only the Blue Heart partners, but the community and our visitors can take ownership of as this project progresses into the future.

Design Challenge

A key challenge was creating a distinctive brand identity that represented the technical intentions of this project, and also suited the needs and interests of each Blue Heart partner. The brand also had to be memorable and engaging, and encourage the local community to learn more about the project.

This challenge was overcome by drawing inspiration from the Kabi Kabi peoples Coastal Story of the Maroochy River area and also considering the native plants and animals in the catchment. The brand was also accompanied by a detailed rationale, identifying that every element of the logo has a deeper meaning or symbology.

Following a number of concepts the brand was chosen and approved unanimously by all Blue Heart partners.


It is too early to measure brand recognition within our community as this artwork is in the early stages of implementation. However the branding has enabled the Blue Heart partners to work cohesively on this project, and offers a consistent look and feel for their various Blue Heart initiatives. It will also assist in increasing the Blue Heart Sunshine Coast’s profile as the project gains traction nationally and even internationally.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design in the traditional or digital visual representation of brand, ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication, representation of brand values and the matching information style to audience.
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