Point Nepean National Park is a sublime, 560-hectare landscape at the narrow tip of the Mornington Peninsula. This site has held a meaningful cultural role for over 35,000 years, as a sacred place to its Traditional Owners, a landmark and natural resource to early European settlers, and as a gateway and line of defence for Victoria and Australia.
The Point Nepean National Park master plan aspires to protect the site’s unique qualities, distil its many stories and, ultimately, provide a clear identity and vision for the park. It is the manifestation of the site’s Traditional Owners’ ambition to connect to country as well as conveying this connection to the general public. It promotes a more complex understanding of the site as a shared cultural landscape, read as both Country and National Park. The master plan translates this reading into design initiatives, interpretation and management.
The master plan’s six themes capture the site’s complexity and structure the document – Shared cultural landscape, Peninsula, Country, Coast, Quarantine and Defence. The landscape architects translated these themes into six key principles, which were used to develop a set of key design initiatives that reveal and frame these qualities and stories at ground level.
While the current reading of the site is heavily skewed towards its colonial history and identity, it is hoped the initiatives included in the master plan will elevate the Traditional Owners’ understanding of the site. The document strives to convey the significance of the cultural landscape, acknowledging the important messages that this continuous connection and custodianship contribute to contemporary discussions of environmental sustainability and climate change. The master plan’s key initiatives aim to heal the site, ecologically and culturally, through collaboration with the site’s Traditional Owners, with the aspiration for eventual joint management of the park.
The preparation of the master plan has involved extensive review of the document’s prior iterations and the numerous proposals over recent years. This process has also involved review of the document’s evolving policy context and Parks Victoria’s engagement with the site’s key stakeholders. Complemented by an expanded analysis of the site, this considerable body of work forms the document’s foundation.
Importantly, the master plan is complemented by an implementation strategy, which undertakes possible site and building uses while evaluating potential investment models for the park and its infrastructure and buildings.
Once implemented, the master plan will shape the legacy left for many generations to come.
Point Nepean National Park Masterplan
Location: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Date of Completion: 2018
Designer: Taylor Cullity Lethlean
Collaborators: Arup, DCWC, Peter Emmett, Roger Gibbins, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer
Client: Parks Victoria
Photographer: John Gollings