Remaking Indigenous Place in Melbourne. Towards a Victorian Cultural Knowledge and Education Centre by Janet McGaw, Jillian Wallis and Jefa Greenaway
In 2008, representatives from the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group, Reconciliation Victoria and the City of Melbourne Arts and Culture branch formed a working group to advance a proposal for an indigenous cultural precinct in the heart of Melbourne. The proposal of such a precinct is profoundly significant in the history of urban Australia, marking a new recognition of the centrality of indigenous culture to our national identity. While Australian Indigenous culture has a long and rich history, very little of it is manifest in built artefacts. Thus translation into contemporary architecture that is a meaningful expression of that history is challenging. Out of this working group evolved the idea for a research partnership between academics from the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne (Janet McGaw, Anoma Pieris, & Graham Brawn) and Deakin University (Emily Potter), The Melbourne City Council’s Indigenous Arts Program (Janina Harding) and Reconciliation Victoria. This research project was funded by the Australian Research Council, 2010- 2014. It followed three lines of inquiry which produced distinct outcomes: a precedents study, a collaborative creative engagement with Indigenous architects, artists and Traditional Owner communities and a theoretical inquiry.
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