A major Aboriginal cultural centre planned for the Darwin waterfront is a step closer, with an EOI call put out for architects to complete the detailed design.

The centre is the result of a 20-year vision for the Larrakia, the Traditional Owners of Darwin to have their own place to showcase their art, history and culture.

“The location and footprint of the Cultural Centre is found in a Native Title related agreement, dating back to 1998,” said Nigel Browne, CEO of Larrakia Development Corporation. “That agreement related to the extinguishment of some of our rights.This development will allow us to protect our future, preserve our past and help build our Territory economy.”

The centre will operate near Stokes Hill Wharf and will include a variety of educational facilities, a museum and art gallery, an outdoor auditorium, a café/restaurant, art studios, artefact storage, retail shops and dedicated interpretive centre.

A concept image for Larrakia cultural centre.

Image: LDC

As part of the Darwin City Deal, the federal government has committed $2 million over two years for the Larrakia Development Corporation to undertake detailed design and planning for centre

“The Larrakia Cultural Centre will protect and promote Larrakia language and history and will be a key element in the Darwin City Deal to revitalize the city centre and to make it an attractive place to live, work, study and do business,” said Indigenous minister Ken Wyatt.

“Schools and tourists will have the opportunity to learn and interact with the Traditional Owners and the Centre will serve as hub for Indigenous businesses such as tourist operators.”

Architecture and engineering design teams from the Northern Territory, Australia and internationally can submit expressions of interest before 30 August. The successful EOI applicants will progress to a formal request for tender, with the detailed design to commence before December 2020.

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