New Aboriginal Cultural Centre site chosen for Western Australia

A new Aboriginal Cultural Centre for Western Australia will be built on Terrace Road between the Perth Concert Hall and Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan).

The centre will contribute to the cultural infrastructure of the region and be a meeting ground to acknowledge and celebrate the Aboriginal culture through dance, education, art and media.

“The site is part of our spiritual identity. It is where the bilya (river) meets the boodja (land) and where ancient waterways were created by the Wagyl as part of our Dreaming,” says Whadjuk Cultural Authority representatives.

“This is a spiritual place where we can tell our stories, but also where we welcome others to tell their stories to promote healing and understanding.”

The site connects to the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan), Heirisson Island (Matta Gerup) and Kings Park (Katta Koomba) – all places of cultural significance to the Noongar people.

The selection of the site came from an extensive cultural investigation and consultation process by the Whadjuk Cultural Authority representatives on the Aboriginal Cultural Centre Steering Committee, which has been endorsed by the wider Whadjuk reference group. The Committee selected the site after the consideration of six different locations near the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan).

The Whadjuk Cultural Authority representative group is made up of six members of the Noongar community; three men and three women who were selected by Whadjuk Elders.

“We hope the centre will be a healing and gathering space for Aboriginal people across WA where we can connect as First Nations peoples and share our culture with people from all over the world,” says Whadjuk Cultural Authority representatives.

“We see this project as a huge opportunity for Aboriginal people to not only showcase their culture, but benefit from the economic, tourism and employment opportunities the centre will bring.”

The centre has a joint funding commitment of $102 million with $50m from the McGowan Government, and a total of $52m from the Australian Government.

The project will now progress through further engagement with the newly elected directors and cultural advice committee members of the Whadjuk Aboriginal Corporation, established under the South West Native Title Settlement.

Extensive state-wide consultations with Aboriginal people and communities will also commence to help shape the vision and key functions of the centre.

Construction is set to begin in the coming years, with the centre anticipated to open in 2028.

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