Dropping plans for Barangaroo Indigenous Cultural Center is a step back, says Aboriginal leaders | Indigenous Australia

of New South Wales The government has come under fire for its decision to cancel plans for an Indigenous Cultural Center at a huge cutaway site in Barangaroo.

A number of feasibility studies and concept designs have been carried out on the proposed underground landmark site, which will house approximately 5,500 square meters of space. artist and playwright Wesley Enoch, sydney The Opera House’s Indigenous Program for nearly a decade was one of the First Nations art leaders involved in the project.

The government’s decision to scrap the plan is criticized by Enoch, who was tasked with investigating the proposal.

The separate, purpose-built Indigenous Cultural Center was to form part of the state government’s multi-billion dollar waterfront district revitalization plan.

The cavernous grounds have played host to many cultural events, exhibitions and performances while a more permanent proposal is being considered.

Enoch said the decision was short-sighted and backward-looking, equating to colonial-era ways of engaging with indigenous peoples and communities.

“This has been an ambition for 30 years. It is very disappointing for the whole community,” the Quandamooka man told Guardian Australia.

He said a lot of work has already been done to ensure that different indigenous communities and perspectives are included in the project’s scoping.

“We’ve done a lot of work on design and community consultation,” he said. “We need to involve the entire community in the process, and the black process takes longer and more depth to participate in that discussion and discussion.

“White decision makers, white bureaucracies, and the powers in those structures are sometimes ill-equipped to deal with us and the way we do things.”

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He said other states and territories have moved to create dedicated Indigenous cultural districts in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and most recently Western Australia, which has damaged the city’s reputation. Said it was dangerous.

“Sydney was the leader in that conversation more than 30 years ago and now it’s stepping back…it’s just one of the big missed opportunities,” Enoch said.

He said the center could become a beacon for tourists, Sydneysiders and Indigenous people to come together and unite in a dedicated space that celebrates Indigenous culture, art and history.

“It was a real honor to be able to celebrate the storytelling of the city’s indigenous peoples and spread it not only to our citizens, but to others,” Enoch said.

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Infrastructure NSW said in a statement that the Cutaway site will continue to be “capable” of Indigenous cultural events and exhibitions.

“The decision to proceed with the Cutaway as a flexible multi-use space was made by the NSW Government following a three-step research and consultation process on potential opportunities for the Cutaway,” said a ministry spokesperson. .

“The connection to country is a strong attribute of the design proposals currently being prepared for cutaway fittings.”

Earlier this year, the Australian government announced it would transform Australia’s first Government House, the Museum of Sydney, into an Indigenous cultural space dedicated to the culture and history of Aboriginal peoples.

Enoch said the proposed center for the Museum of Sydney in the Old Government House would not be enough and has its own past to consider.

“We are beyond the age that Indigenous Australians should be grateful for…and the place is also an important site of colonization,” he said.

Dropping plans for Barangaroo Indigenous Cultural Center is a step back, says Aboriginal leaders | Indigenous Australia

Source link Dropping plans for Barangaroo Indigenous Cultural Center is a step back, says Aboriginal leaders | Indigenous Australia

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