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New centre in Northam celebrates Aboriginal culture

An education centre which celebrates, protects and shares Aboriginal culture has officially opened in Northam today.

Joining the community for the opening celebrations, Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge (“the Centre”) is a fantastic facility that will serve the cultural and educational needs of the Northam Shire’s Aboriginal people for many years to come.

“The Centre, which includes fully-interactive technological presentations, a yarning circle, sorry space, cultural artefacts and a cultural souvenir shop, is a central point for meetings and events which celebrate Aboriginal culture,” Mr Porter said.

“During the construction and development phases of this project, 27 local Aboriginal people were engaged to provide knowledge, curatorship and project coordination.

“Now open, the Centre will also support another five ongoing positions for local people and will provide the Aboriginal workforce with opportunities to participate in skill development programs aimed to improve the longevity, vitality and viability of Aboriginal enterprises.”

Shire of Northam, Chief Executive Officer, Jason Whiteaker, said the development of the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre is an important opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal culture and promote social cohesion within the community and region.

“We see this facility as a premier destination for people seeking the ultimate Aboriginal cultural experience,” Mr Whiteaker said.

The $6 million project was jointly funded with the Federal Liberal Government investing $2,100,000, the State Government $509,400, Shire of Northam $1,470,000 and Lotterywest $2,000,000.