Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh at Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre with digitisation officer Maddison Whitford (left) and Yarrawarra’s Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery creative director Alison Williams.
Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Corindi will digitally preserve and protect the Centre’s valuable cultural collection thanks to a $200,000 Creative Capital investment by the NSW Nationals in the state government.
The Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre participated in the first phase of a First Nations Digitisation Project during a 12-month pilot.
This new funding extends the digitisation project for a further two years, providing additional resourcing and state-of-the-art technology to help local, Aboriginal-led teams from Yarrawarra professionally manage, preserve and share its heritage, cultural and language collections.
Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said this investment supports the Centre to audit, catalogue and digitise its priceless collection and develop professional skills.
“I’m thrilled the NSW Government is extending the First Nations Digitisation Project funding for a further two years to enable Yarrawarra to continue its important work. As a digital collection, this priceless cultural information can be shared with schools, families and the wider community,” Mr Singh said.
Nationals Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Arts Ben Franklin said this investment and collaborative partnership will create a timeless legacy, ensuring Aboriginal communities have ongoing access to heritage, culture, and language through community collections.
“I am immensely proud the NSW Government is investing in people and technology to preserve and celebrate priceless Aboriginal collections. Importantly, as an Aboriginal-led collaborative initiative with expert guidance from the sector, it sets a strong foundation for future projects,” Mr Franklin said.
Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre will collaborate with three other regional Aboriginal Cultural Centres, sharing in a total of $800,000 Creative Capital funding. They are Armidale Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place; Wungunja Cultural Centre at Trangie; and Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Corporation at Deniliquin.
The co-design funding model is supported by a collaborative partnership involving Create NSW, State Library of NSW and Aboriginal Culture, Heritage & Arts Association (ACHAA), with each partner organisation providing support to the Cultural Centres to ensure their success.
Steve Miller, General Manager ACHAA said this initiative helps close the gaps and implement systems that are missing in collection management, while ensuring work is carried out on Country, managed by the Aboriginal custodians of the collections.
“These valuable cultural collections, some of national significance, connect these centres and their communities to Country, knowledge, their heritage and through ongoing related cultural expression, their futures,” Mr Miller said.
“The Create NSW pilot digitisation program involving four regional locations has helped these centres enormously in terms of employment and regional on-site training, community-country connections, knowledge growth and understanding around these collections.”