- Gwoonwardu Mia re-opens after $2.5 million McGowan Government boost
- Gascoyne region celebrates major cultural tourism attraction
- Government investment will drive Aboriginal business opportunities
Gwoonwardu Mia - the Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre in Carnarvon - officially re-opens today, following a $2.5 million commitment by the McGowan Government.
The centre first opened in 2005 but was closed in 2015 due to concerns about management and financial issues.
The McGowan Government has worked to reopen the centre to celebrate the region's Aboriginal heritage and culture and drive Aboriginal business development and tourism opportunities in the Gascoyne.
The State Government commitment provides an initial three years of operating funding, with
the Western Australian Museum tasked with reopening and managing the Centre.
The Museum is working in partnership with local Aboriginal communities to put the Centre on a pathway to sustainability.
The Centre consists of conference rooms for hire, a café, gallery shop, an Emerging Art Centre facility, outdoor performance space, ethnobotanical gardens and grounds based on the region's plants and how they are used by local Aboriginal people, and a permanent interpretive exhibition which previously won a prestigious Museums and Galleries National Award.
"Burlganyja Wanggaya: Old People Talking - Listen, Learn and Respect" is an award-winning exhibition which shares the stories of the Gascoyne's Aboriginal people in their own words, using text, images, audio and film.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Since coming to government we have worked hard to bring Gwoonwardu Mia back to life, establishing an operating model that will guarantee long-term sustainability.
"Today is a fantastic milestone for the traditional owners of the five language groups of the Gascoyne and the local Carnarvon business community, with our government putting the award-winning Centre back at the heart of the community and on the tourist map.
"Investment in this Centre will drive Aboriginal pride, business development and tourism opportunities in the Gascoyne and surrounding regions, providing a boost to Carnarvon's economy and helping to establish Carnarvon as a modern regional centre."
Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"The Centre has an incredibly important role to play locally through the sharing of community stories to ensure the transfer of culture and knowledge to younger generations of Aboriginal people.
"As a significant cultural tourism experience, Gwoonwardu Mia forms part of an emerging network of facilities which tell the stories of Aboriginal people and their experiences, both before and after the arrival of settlers from other parts of the world."
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Culture and the Arts Minister's office - 6552 5400