Aboriginal Cultural Centre Project

The WA Government acknowledges Aboriginal people as the first custodians of the lands and seas of Western Australia and pays tribute to past and present Aboriginal Elders. The WA Government also pays respect to Aboriginal communities of today.

The State of Western Australia is embarking on an exciting and transformational journey. Led by Aboriginal people and working in partnership with the State Government, work has commenced on planning for a central place of significance to empower Aboriginal people in telling their histories and demonstrating their culture.

A funding commitment of $52 million from the State Government and a further $2 million from the Australian Government through the Perth City Deal project, will progress the planning, engagement, design and seed capital for the project.

Aboriginal Cultural Centre Survey

We want to hear from you!

Establishing a flagship Aboriginal Cultural Centre with State-wide significance has been identified as a major cultural infrastructure need for Western Australia.

The centre presents an extraordinary opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the world's oldest continuous living culture and share it with the nation and the world.

An Aboriginal Cultural Centre of global significance will not only celebrate the diversity of WA's Aboriginal communities but inspire visitors to explore all regions of the State to experience first hand the unique offerings available.

Responses to this survey will ensure a diversity and richness of views are considered in the development of the business case and planning for a State-wide Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Project overview

To be located on the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people in the Perth city, the Aboriginal Cultural Centre (ACC) will commemorate the ongoing connections to the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River). As traditional custodians of the land, the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation will host the centre and play a key role in planning for the centre.

The centre will recognise and celebrate Aboriginal culture from across Western Australia and contribute to the cultural infrastructure of the State. The centre will provide spaces for art, performance, education, research, community and commercial activities. It is planned to become a major tourist and events attraction, encouraging visitors to the unique regions of Western Australia.

Aboriginal engagement strategy

An Aboriginal engagement strategy has been developed to guide meaningful engagement with Aboriginal people for this project. 

The Aboriginal engagement strategy (AES) outlines the community engagement process with the Whadjuk (as the host nation) and the other five Noongar Indigenous Land Use Agreement Areas (ILUAs). The process then expands to include the remaining regions of Western Australia using traditional story and song lines.

Noongar ILUAs are Whadjuk, Yued, Ballardong, Gnaala Karla Boodja, South West Boodja and Wagyi Kaip. This represents an amalgamation of the fourteen groups that make up the Noongar Nation.

The planning for the project will include extensive engagement with Aboriginal people and communities across the State, using a Cultural Authority Framework. 

The Cultural Authority Framework will embed Aboriginal-led community engagement and cultural decision-making processes in the development and ongoing operation of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre (ACC).

Steering Committee

Culture is at the heart of this project, as is the commitment of the State Government to working in partnership with Aboriginal people on projects and services that affect them and their communities.

In a milestone moment that is a first for any major State Government project, six cultural representatives have been appointed as members of the Steering Committee overseeing this project.

Gordon Cole, Charne Hayden, Peter Hill, Cheryl Martin, Beverley Port Louis, and Barry Winmar, were elected as Whadjuk ACC Project Cultural Authority representatives in December 2021, at a gathering of over 80 Whadjuk Male and Female Elders.

The cultural representatives have the entrusted role of providing critical cultural knowledge, guidance, and direction for the business planning phase of the ACC project.

The Premier’s Parliamentary Secretary, Ms Sabine Winton MLA, is the appointed Chair of the Steering Committee and joins representatives from the Departments of Finance; Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC); Premier and Cabinet; and Treasury to complete the membership of the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee held its first meeting in February 2022, with monthly meetings scheduled through to December 2022. This will culminate in completion of the planning phase of the project by December 2022 and subsequent consideration of the Steering Committee’s recommendations by the State Government.

 

Members of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre Steering Committee

Whadjuk Steering Committee Members right to left:: 

Beverley Port Louis (Cultural Authority Representative), Peter Hill (Cultural Authority Representative), Sabine Winton MLA (Chair), Barry Winmar (Cultural Authority Representative),  Charne Hayden (Cultural Authority Representative), Cheryl Martin (Cultural Authority Representative) and Kate Alderton (Principal Project Director).

Aboriginal subject matter experts

The Steering Committee has identified the need to establish a panel of Aboriginal subject matter experts to provide advice regarding project development and technical detail.

The panel will be selected through an expression of interest process to ensure transparency, and which builds a talent base to draw from for the various stages of project development. Expressions of Interest will be advertised shortly.

Communiques

Further Information

If you would like further information regarding the Aboriginal Cultural Centre (ACC) please contact the project team via email at ACC@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Page reviewed 03 August 2022