Case study

Awabakal has a proud 40 year history and has grown to be the leading medical provider for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Newcastle region.

We collaborated with local Aboriginal artist Saretta Fielding, creating indigenous symbols from the story of Awabakal, from its inception over 40 years ago to the present day. The collaboration with Saretta led to an expansion of the brand's colour palette to include colours inspired by her arts practice and the colours of Awabakal country.

An integral part of the brand campaign was a series of photographic portraits that show the proud local people. To show the power and strength of the subjects we photographed them looking directly into the camera. To portray a sense of optimism we decided to photograph the subjects in colour, on coloured backgrounds from the new brand palette. Using the imagery we created a television commercial and a series of posters that together positioned Awabakal as 'the leading medical provider for our people'.

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Awabakal medical services have been in Newcastle for over 40 years.

In 2018 the organisation embarked on an expansion strategy which has seen the medical service open three new sites across Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Port Stephens. With a brand identity that has been in market for the last five years, we were tasked with refreshing and building upon its strong identity, with a desire to reintroduce some indigenous design elements, particularly into the staff uniform.

Until November 2014, Awabakal Ltd was known as Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd. The co-operative was established in 1976 to provide empowerment to the Aboriginal communities of the Hunter through the delivery of health and social services, in a practice consistent with and relevant to community needs, while maintaining respect for our cultural diversity. The co-operative has continually provided services to Aboriginal people living in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Hunter Valley regions of New South Wales since 1976.

Awabakal services are predominantly managed and delivered by professional Aboriginal staff experienced with and sensitive to the needs of our community. Awabakal is a multifunctional not-for-profit organisation that delivers a broad range of services and community programs.


Clearly communicating who they are, and what they offer.

Target Audience

The general public.

Consumer Proposition

Awabakal are committed to supporting the local Aboriginal and wider community by offering a variety of services which help overcome barriers facing the indigenous population (and therefore the wider community).

  • Medical Services
  • Children Services
  • Community Services
  • Shared Services

Desired Consumer Response

I appreciate what Awabakal contributes to my community, and I understand what they do.

Creative Solution

To create a suite of illustrations for the brand, Headjam collaborated with local Aboriginal artist Saretta Fielding. She told the story of Awabakal's formation through indigenous symbols. The collaboration with Saretta led to an expansion of the brand's colour palette to include colours inspired by her arts practice and the colours of Awabakal country.

We updated their printed brochures, website and launched an app which makes connecting clients to medical services easier.

We worked with Awabakal to produce a podcast called 'Awabapod'. Hosted by the charismatic Rod Smith from Awabakal, each episode interviews Indigenous Australians on topical events.

The ‘Awabakal Is’ portrait series is part of a brand campaign that showcases the many faces of the people from all ages that Awabakal serves. We used these portraits in a television commercial and a series of posters.

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