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Design competition forthcoming for Indigenous education centre

February 9, 2023 by in Industry News, S+P News

The NSW government has allocated $78.5 million to establish an Indigenous Centre of Excellence at Western Sydney University.

Slated to be built at the university’s Parramatta South campus on Darug land, the centre will be a place for research and inquiry, forming and key part of the university’s ambitions to become a national leader in Indigenous education.

The university plans to conduct a national design competition for the building, which will have purpose-built facilities and spaces to support the sharing and preservation of Indigenous Australian culture. The centre will celebrate the Indigenous culture and heritage of the region, with arts and cultural collections, performances, talks and screenings, which will be accessible to local residents, schools and businesses.

“Western Sydney is home to the largest Indigenous population in the country, so it is only fitting that we create a place for Indigenous people to celebrate culture and connection to Country,” said professor Michelle Trudgett, deputy vice-chancellor for Indigenous leadership.

“It will be an iconic destination where the community can come together to acknowledge the region’s deep connection with Indigenous people as well as lead global discourse on Indigenous knowledges steeped in the principles of reciprocity, generosity, and respect.”

The university is seeking a design that emphasises environmental sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ connection to country.

Reference design for Western Sydney University’s proposed Indigenous Centre of Excellence by Allen, Jack and Cottier. Image: Allen, Jack and Cottier

“The University has always been located on Aboriginal land. As an anchor institution serving Western Sydney we value and nurture our relationships with the Indigenous community,” Trudgett said.

“By working together, we will increase Indigenous participation in higher education, pay tribute to the deep learning that has existed on these lands for tens of thousands of years, position Indigenous knowledge at the core of the University and strive towards a sustainable future that nurtures emerging generations for decades to come.”

Vice-chancellor and president of Western Sydney University, Barney Glover, said, “This is a generational opportunity for us to intensify our engagement with the community, at such a critical time for Indigenous Australians.”

The NSW government’s latest round of West Invest funding allocations also included $40 million for the redevelopment of Riverside Theatre, $52.4 million for the redevelopment of Enfield Aquatic Centre, and $20.3 million for Burwood Urban Park and Arts and Cultural Centre and $17.7 million to upgrade Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink.

Source: Design competition forthcoming for Indigenous education centre | ArchitectureAU