Another j2 event experience

Opening of The Goodwill Bridge, Brisbane

Portfolio Classification

Events of significance

Major Infrastructure

Location Brisbane City, South Bank Parklands, QUT Precinct
Year 2001
Client Queensland Government through Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Events Coordination Unit
Quick Facts

 

The Goodwill Bridge was opened on 21 October 2001

The opening provided the first opportunity for people to walk across the structure

35,000 people amassed for the opening walk and celebrations

Today, it is estimated that 40,000 pedestrians and cyclists cross the bridge each week

Background

The Goodwill Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist bridge (no vehicular traffic) which spans the Brisbane River in Brisbane Australia, linking the South Bank Parklands / Queensland Museum on the southside, to the Gardens Point Campus of the Queensland University of Technology on the northside.

j2 were appointed as Project Manager for the opening, working closely with the Queensland Government's Department of the Premier and Cabinet, John Holland Constructions and other precinct stakeholders.

J2 Services and Solutions

Creative direction

Event management

Liaison with all precinct stakeholders to develop entertainment programs

Provide stakeholders and partners with maximum recognition and involvement opportunities

Interface with construction team to determine design of event, on-site parameters, restrictions, access, etc

Roving entertainment program creation and management of official opening

Pageantry and theming strategy and delivery

Production of merchandise giveaways

Coordination of Bridge to Bridge Swim

Production and stage management and oversight of event from bump in through bump out

Budget management and cost control

Risk mitigation and management

Held across the two riverside precincts of South Bank Parklands and Queensland University of Technology, opening celebrations encompassed a number of events:

Opening ceremony officiated by former Premier of Queensland, Hon Peter Beattie;

Launch of the Maritime Museum's "Cross Currents" Exhibition;

QUT Open Day;

Street theatre entertainment at South Bank;

Public preview of Griffith University's College of Art, Gallery; and

The inaugural 'Bridge to Bridge' Brisbane River swim.

 

Level of Complexity

The opening of The Goodwill Bridge was a high public profile event, much anticipated amidst negative publicity surrounding project delays and mixed public opinion on the project itself. Controversy arose during the construction of the bridge over its growing cost, and a subsequent budgetary blow-out which resulted in the use of additional government funds. The architectural design received mixed reviews; many people saw the landmark as a work of art, while the bridge's entirely asymmetrical and unconventional form did not appeal to others. Embracing both positive and negative widespread opinion on the bridge contributed to j2's planning for the opening event.

Significant range of stakeholders dictating adherence to appropriate protocol.

Key Achievements

The more-than 35,000 participants who took part in the opening celebrations surrounding The Goodwill Bridge, exceeded stakeholder expectations. Although the bridge project itself was a controversial subject in the lead up to the opening, following the very successful unveiling event, the public changed their view of the landmark, ultimately encouraging two further pedestrian bridges in Brisbane's city-heart.

Stakeholder Feedback

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your hard work in managing a very successful opening of The Goodwill Bridge. I relied heavily on your advice and organisation of the event and respected your professionalism and flexibility in very hectic times. Joanna, you have been a pleasure to work with, thank you once again for your exceptional work and I hope to work with you again in the near future."

Claire Booth – (former) Director, Events Coordination Unit, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, QLD Government