Knowledge protection, cultural maintenance and, where appropriate, sharing have been identified in many independent studies as fundamental to the health and wellbeing of Australian Indigenous communities.
By mid-2018, the ALC in partnership with the Federal Government will have built three cultural enterprise hubs, complete with multimedia areas, offices, as well as places for cultural display and workshops, both indoors and out. This is an investment to the tune of approximately $7.6m. These will be places where people can meet, learn and engage in contemporary and traditional culture and art, places where the young can learn from elders, and vice versa. Interactive technologies and media will enable our young people to immerse themselves within the emerging digital economies, in an educated and sophisticated manner. Performance spaces and music studios will support budding artists, while enabling traditional dance and song to be recorded and passed on to selected aficionados.
The art market for Aboriginal contemporary art has always been hungry for emerging artists, actors and musicians. It is envisioned that Groote Eylandt Cultural Centres will be a place for a new breed of artists to develop and hone their skills, before showcasing them to the rest of the world.
Excitement is building in the communities with the start of construction of the centres, which are a part of an ALC plan to help reengage young people.The centres will be used by all ages for cultural activities and to archive, share and create cultural content.
Site works are nearly complete at Angurugu, opposite the shopping centre and in Umbakumba, opposite the school. Probuild NT won the tender to build the centres, which will be raised on stumps and similar in style to Groote Eylandt Lodge. They include open covered areas, lockable rooms, raised angled roofs, and landscaped areas. The company is working with GEBIE Civil and Construction and Aminjarrinja as well as about six CDP workers.
A working group has also formed (image above) to design the fit-out of the centres with the communities.