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Call out for ideas for new Aboriginal knowledge and cultural centre in Redfern

The City of Sydney is asking local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members for ideas about how to transform an historic building in Redfern into a local Aboriginal knowledge and cultural centre.

Purchased by the City of Sydney, the two-storey building at 119 Redfern Street is in the heart of an area synonymous with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism, land rights and the fight for equality, as well as the birthplace of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.

“As part of the local community with its rich and proud history of civil, political activism and the embodiment of self-determination, I really encourage local mob to take the opportunity to shape this project,” Manager of Indigenous Leadership and Engagement at the City of Sydney, Edie Coe, said.

“The City of Sydney wants to hear your ideas and aspirations for what this space could be and how you’d like to see it used. I’d like this centre to bolster the local sense of community and be somewhere people of all ages gather. Let’s make it flexible, interactive and responsive to community needs. Please take a moment to complete a quick survey or come along and chat to us at a workshop or pop-up session.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said community guidance on the best way to use this important space was critical.

“The City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel and the local community have highlighted the need for an appropriate space to gather, to share and to practice the cultures of First Nations people living in and connected to Sydney,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We bought 119 Redfern Street several years ago to meet this need and progress our commitment to an Aboriginal knowledge and cultural centre in Redfern. It sits in a culturally significant and central location near community services and provides a space that will ensure Aboriginal people continue to enjoy a highly visible, prominent presence in Sydney.

“I’m excited to hear what the community thinks and to help bring these ideas to life.”

The City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel assisted in the decision to buy the heritage- listed building. The panel inspected the property and provided advice on its potential to support the community’s needs going forward. The City is currently carrying out an accessibility upgrade that includes a new entry and lift.

A local Aboriginal knowledge and cultural centre is one of four components in the City’s long-standing Eora Journey program. The Eora Journey also includes major public art projects by First Nations artists, a significant event that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage and an economic development plan to contribute to sustained prosperity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

People can have their say on the future use of 119 Redfern street by completing a short survey or registering to join a workshop.

The consultation period finishes on May 9, 2022.

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