Darug Language Signage Project


The Darug Signage Project will see the integration of Aboriginal wayfinding signage into Nepean Hospital’s new 14 storey hospital tower, delivered under Stage 1 of the $1 billion Nepean Hospital Redevelopment. 

The signs, which will feature Darug language and artwork with English explanations, will be installed at the entry points of key services and units, to help make the new hospital more culturally inclusive and welcoming to Aboriginal patients and families.  

The translations will also help non-Darug people learn more about the language.

Each sign will include the unit name, Darug translation and pronunciation, and English interpretation. 

Local Darug artwork will also be incorporated into the signage to make it vibrant and engaging.

Following a community Expression of Interest process, the artwork “Daruga Healing” by Darug artist, Leanne Watson (pictured right) was chosen to be integrated into the design of the signs to make them uniquely representative of Nepean Hospital for Aboriginal staff, patients and visitors. 

In January 2020, a working party was established for the project with representation from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Aboriginal health staff, Darug language educators and community members. 

The working group is currently considering translations and meanings for the different services for Stage 2 of the Nepean Redevelopment, in consultation with community members.  

In November 2020, the Darug Language signage for Stage 1 was successfully launched during NAIDOC week celebrations at Nepean Hospital.  

The Stage 2 Darug signage is scheduled to be complete in late 2022.

Early anecdotal feedback about the signage has been extremely positive, helping to: 

  • reduce the fear and anxiety associated with hospitals 

  • encourage earlier health interventions for Aboriginal people, as well as  

  • being a culturally appropriate and creative way to acknowledge the region’s traditional owners. 

 Image above and below: Taken at the launch of the Darug Language signage for Stage 1.