1. What will the Centre offer?
The Centre will provide the opportunity for anyone to learn about Nyungar Culture and history, gain information from the Visitors Centre and visit the Cafe. It will provide a place for the Aboriginal Community to celebrate and recognise significant cultural events and activities. It is envisaged that school students, local residents and their visiting relatives, organisations or individuals seeking Aboriginal awareness training, cruise ships visitors, youth groups, families, and other local visitors will use the Centre and Cafe.
In the ‘tourism’ sense, activities may include:
- Bush story trail – usually a guided bush tucker / bush medicine walk
- Tool making and spear or boomerang throwing workshops
- Art, music and dance performances and workshops
- Static displays – interpretive centre with timeline stories, hands on activities. Displays include traditional clothing, artefacts and weapons
- Art Gallery
- Retail Shop
- Welcome to Country – point of contact for booking the appropriate person to conduct the Welcome to Country Ceremony.
- Indigenous Educational Programs that fit the school curriculum
- Dance Troupes - point of contact for the booking of dance troupes.
- Meeting Rooms / activity/ small conference rooms
2. Why this location?
3. Why not locate it near the Wetlands Centre in Hope Road?
After consultation with the Aboriginal Reference Group, the eastern side of the lake considered to be culturally unsuitable. The Wetland Education area is considered to be a place of cultural significance for Aboriginal Women and children, but it is not culturally appropriate for Aboriginal Men to have an ongoing presence there.
4. What did the feasibility study find?
The study found that a co-located Aboriginal Cultural and Visitors Centre is feasible if it is subsidised and managed by the City of Cockburn.
5. How much will it cost?
It is estimated that the capital works cost will be $6 million and the City will apply for grants of up to $1 million.
6. What consultation has there been so far?
Extensive community consultation was undertaken with the local Aboriginal community, Aboriginal Reference Group and Wetlands Education Precinct group. Key stakeholders, Elected Members, and key staff were also contacted and offered an interview by the consultants. Two public meetings and an on-line survey was also advertised and conducted as part of the process. A total of 70 people provided feedback to the consultants.
7. What is the estimated amount of land needed for the Centre?
The estimated total floor size is 1,500 sqm plus parking and outdoor landscaped spaces (which equates to 6,500 sqm). The Aboriginal Cultural and Visitors Centre facility will require outdoor undercover spaces of 1200 sqm plus access to surrounding bushland. Inside the centre a space will be required for a static and interactive museum display, cultural awareness training, educational, and general activities, a café and visitors centre. These spaces will be available for use or hire for a range of cultural and other visitors activities.
8. Will it create jobs?
The building could become an important source of employment in the district for the aboriginal community and give them an opportunity to take a stake in its development and have a sense of pride in showing their culture to the public.
9. Tell me about the visitor centre
There is an increasing need for a visitor centre to service the current increase in tourism to the district. This could be an important link with the development of the Aboriginal cultural function and potentially be a significant draw for Perth day visitors.
10. Tell me abut reconciliation and the City's role
The City has been taking action over the past few years to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people via its Aboriginal Reference Group (established 2002), employment of an Aboriginal Community Development Officer (since 2003), participation in NAIDOC and Reconciliation Week activities and the adoption of the City of Cockburn Reconciliation Action Plan.