A PURPOSE-built Aboriginal cultural and visitors centre could be built in the City of Cockburn.
At a forum held last week to discuss the project’s viability, Bibra Lake (Walliabup in coastal Nyoongar dialect) and Manning Park were suggested as possible sites.
Suggestions were put forward for tourist and school tours of significant Aboriginal sites in the City, a cafe selling ‘back to country’ foods and an art space for indigenous artists.
About 20 mostly Aboriginal residents, including members of the City’s Aboriginal Reference Group (ARG), agreed that a focus on cultural education and engagement for young indigenous people would be essential.
“We want our young people to be proud and to be a part of this place,” ARG co-chairman Sealin Garlett said.
“We want to make a statement to the community that we are going to do the practical things so that blackfellas and whitefellas can live together.”
ARG co-chairwoman Corina Abraham, from Yangebup, said it was important that indigenous people run the centre, creating training and employment opportunities for youth.
A living library, where visitors could hear indigenous stories, Nyoongar language courses, a performance space and function rooms were other ideas brainstormed at the forum.
City of Cockburn community services manager Gail Bowman said ideas from the forum would be tabled for councillors to consider at a future meeting.