- State Budget to deliver $2.5 million to reopen the Gwoonwardu Mia Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre
- Centre has been closed since 2015
- Western Australian Museum to manage reopening of the centre
The McGowan Government's 2019-20 State Budget will deliver $2.5 million to reopen the Gwoonwardu Mia Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre in Carnarvon.
The centre opened in 2005 following a $4.7 million State Government investment, but was closed in 2015 by the Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre Board due to concerns over the management of the centre and financial issues.
The McGowan Government has been working to reopen the centre since coming to government in 2017, culminating in the resumption of direct management of the centre and renewed engagement with the local Aboriginal community.
The McGowan Government has allocated $2.5 million to reopen the centre, working in partnership with the Gascoyne Development Commission and the local Aboriginal community to put the centre on a pathway to sustainability.
The WA Museum has been asked to manage the reopening of the centre until such time as a new governance model is agreed to.
This commitment provides an initial three years of operating funding, and will support building assessments for any necessary repairs and cataloguing of exhibits and artefacts left in the centre.
The reopened centre will be used to drive Aboriginal business development and tourism opportunities in the Gascoyne, and to celebrate the region's Aboriginal heritage.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The closure of this centre has been a real loss for Aboriginal people in Carnarvon and the Gascoyne, and we have been determined to bring Gwoonwardu Mia back to life.
"Since coming to government, we have engaged the local Aboriginal community and senior State Government representatives to establish a model that ensures the long-term sustainability of the centre.
"Gwoonwardu Mia provides a stage to celebrate the rich Aboriginal history of the Gascoyne region - it will once again be a major tourism attraction for the region, and advance the understanding of Aboriginal agriculture and resistance fighters."
Comment attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"I am pleased to see the WA Museum providing its expertise in working with the community to ensure this cultural centre can once again open its doors and be an important part of the cultural offering in Gascoyne for residents and visitors alike."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
"The Aboriginal history of the area is an asset and one that deserves to be recognised and celebrated.
"This facility will be a springboard for promoting innovative culture and heritage as a critical part of making Carnarvon a modern regional centre and developing its economy."
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Culture and the Arts Minister's office - 6552 5400
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900