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Smart Ticketing

Through the Smart Ticketing Project, Translink, a division of TMR, recognises and celebrates the rich and diverse contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders make every day and the integral role that Australia’s First Nations history plays in our communities. We are investing $371 million in a new smart ticketing solution that will make choosing public transport easier by introducing new ways to plan and pay for your journey. Smart Ticketing will introduce more than 14,000 new devices that will accept credit or debit cards, smartphones and smart watches in addition to go cards and paper tickets.

The Connecting Thread artwork on the G:Link

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The Connecting Thread

Translink is featuring Aboriginal inspired art on Queensland's public transport ticketing equipment and infrastructure. Gold Coast customers are the first to see The Connecting Thread artwork featured on a tram and all new Smart Ticketing validators on G:link.

It is just one way TransLink recognises and celebrates the uniqueness of Queensland and the rich contribution of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Queensland through the journeys many Queenslanders and visitors make through the state each day.

The design symbolises and reflects the landscapes of Queensland from top to bottom, exploring Rainforest, Bush, Freshwater, Saltwater, Desert Country and the pathways that connect Country and people. 

The Connecting Thread artwork was developed by local Gilimbaa artist, Elisa Carmichael (Quandamooka), specifically for the Smart Ticketing project. Elisa is a Ngugi woman from the Quandamooka People of Moreton Bay. She has pursued a creative career since completing her degree, and has exhibited internationally and presented her research at Oxford University. Her practice honours her cultural heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country, embracing traditional techniques and expressing contemporary adaptations, through the mediums of painting, weaving and textiles.

The Connecting Thread's visual presence will transform local public transport infrastructure and inspire a sense of pride, culture, connection and curiosity in the stories it tells.

A person smiling in front of artwork
Gilimbaa artist, Elisa Carmichael

The Connecting Thread artwork story

We are travelling in the pathways of those who have gone before us. Many of the major highways, roads and waterways are travelling routes for the First Peoples of the land.

Bright artwork including threads
Connecting Thread artwork

Over tens of thousands of years our ancestors’ footprints have paved the way for the routes we travel today. This artwork honours the footprints of Australia's First Nations people; guiding the way for safe travel and caring for Country and the environment across Queensland.

One of the most important items for Australia's First Nations people is string. Threads of string support daily life activities and ceremonial gatherings. Strings are carried when travelling across Country. The strings are woven with grasses, rushes or hair. When one thread comes together and is woven with many, its strength is formed.

Placing the woven string elements over the patterns inspired by Country honours connection to Country and the significance of caring, working and living with the environment.  

This artwork was developed by Gilimbaa, facilitated through their bespoke Fish Trap Process.

Marlu the Smart Tickety-Roo

The name Marlu means kangaroo, and comes from the Warlpiri language. The Warlpiri language is one of the Ngarrkic languages of the large Pama–Nyungan family and is one of the largest Aboriginal languages in Australia in terms of number of speakers. 

A drawing of a pink kangaroo
Marlu is a pink kangaroo, created to help educate customers on how to use Smart Ticketing

The voice of Marlu as featured in the Smart Ticketing radio advertising campaign is Taliqua Clancy, Australia's first Aboriginal woman to compete in Olympic beach volleyball.

Taliqua standing next to a pole with a Marlu poster
Marlu as featured in the Smart Ticketing radio advertising campaign is Taliqua Clancy, Australia's first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to compete in Olympic beach volleyball

A Commonwealth Games silver medallist beach volleyballer and proud Queenslander, has become a Smart Ticketing ambassador and voice of its mascot, Marlu the kangaroo.

A Wulli Wulli and Goreng Goreng woman born and raised in Kingaroy, Taliqua represented Australia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, was a silver medallist in women's beach volleyball at the Commonwealth Games 3 years ago and is a 2021 Olympic hopeful.

Taliqua Clancy—Marlu the Smart Tickety-Roo interview

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The Smart Ticketing project focused on celebrating and recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through Marlu and First Nations artwork on ticket validators and a G:link tram. Marlu has begun appearing on G:link trams and platform signage and radio ads have also started to inform and raise awareness about the Smart Ticketing project and more ways to pay.

Taliqua using a Smart Ticketing machine in front of a Marlu poster
Taliqua Clancy, Australia's first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to compete in Olympic beach volleyball, the voice of Marlu

You can see Marlu now on Translink social media and across G:link on-tram and on-platform signage.