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The Whadjuk Cultural Authority Representatives together with Sabine Winton MLA with Premier Mark McGowan

Photo: Left to right: Barry Winmar (Whadjuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre Cultural Authority), Sabine Winton MLA (Chair ACC Steering Committee), Gordon Cole, Premier Mark McGowan, Beverly Port Louis, Charne Hayden, Peter Hill, Dr Richard Walley OAM (APP).

The July Steering Committee meeting marked the fifth for the year and gave the members the opportunity to pause and reflect on the significant progress of the project over the first half of the year. Some of the highlights to date include the establishment of a community representative governance framework to ensure the project was Aboriginal led from the beginning. In addition, the project has committed to doing things better as a Project Team and Steering Committee and this has included cultural learning through Noongar language lessons, the language spoken on Whadjuk boodja (land) where the Aboriginal Cultural Centre will be located.

As the lead consultant, Dr Richard Walley has led the complex and important task of Aboriginal engagement with the Noongar community. And, most recently, we have commenced the regional engagement for the project. This is an important first step in connecting with groups outside of the Noongar region to ensure all Aboriginal people of Western Australia can contribute to the development of the centre.

Content development

While development of the ACC business case will focus on the building, its operations, and governance, consideration on the content development and approach is also required at this early stage of the project.

The Steering Committee will now receive regular content development reports which will highlight content considerations that guide creation of fit-for-purpose cultural, functional spaces. 

Aboriginal engagement update

The commitment by the project team and Steering Committee to doing things better has been noted in the appreciation from community for the wide-spread level of engagement being undertaken early in the project. Community feedback commended the project team for holding community meetings on-Country where possible.

Twenty-six meetings and engagements have been held with Aboriginal people, Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations and Corporations, the South-West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, and relevant Peak Bodies within the Noongar Nation.

The feedback received from the meetings and engagements has demonstrated positive support for the project and an enthusiasm to engage in future discussions.

The project team are heading off to several regional events in coming months. This will be reported back to the Steering Committee at future meetings.

Ni Kaartdijin (listening and gathering knowledge)

Listening and gathering knowledge, Ni Kaartdijin, is the focus for Round 2 of Aboriginal engagement. The project team is seeking input from Aboriginal people and communities into the sub-functions and activities that could be associated with the six primary functions of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. These primary functions are Hosting, Gallery/Exhibition, Performance, Education/Research, Community and Commercial.

6 circles lined up vertically with the words,hosting, gallery/exhibition, performance, education/research, community, commercial.


A survey to help gather feedback on these spaces and functions is now available on the DLGSC website. Responses to this survey will ensure a diversity and richness of views are considered in the development of the business case and planning for the centre.

Communiques will be published following each meeting of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre Steering Committee.

Aboriginal Cultural Centre Survey


Page reviewed 27 February 2023