The new Living Kaurna Cultural Centre speaks of cultural renewal. This open space museum in the City of Marion interprets Kaurna heritage and fosters arts and cultural activities through gatherings, ceremonies, celebrations and events, for the benefit of the whole community.
It has taken more than a decade of blood, sweat and tears to finally create this very important historical centre for all Kaurna descendants. Now the Peoples of Tjirbruki once again feel a Place of Belonging, says Georgina Williams, Kaurna Nganke Burka.
The centre is a joint partnership of KACHA (the
Kaurna Aboriginal Community and Heritage Association) and the City of Marion, supported by the Commonwealth Centenary of Federation Grants program. The concept for an interactive history centre at Warriparinga came as a request from the Kaurna Heritage Committee to the City of Marion, during the cultural planning process which led to the Warriparinga Conservation and Management Plan in 1992.
Warriparinga has been increasingly a site of cultural renewal through ceremonies such as the Full Moon, Friendship and Spirit Fires by the Kaurna Fire Keepers and Clan Custodians. At the entrance to Warriparinga stands the Tjirbruki Gateway artwork by Sherry Rankine, Margaret Worth and Gavin Malone, a ‘forest' of dead tree trunks which tells the story of the ancestral being Tjirbruki.
The environmental, cultural and spiritual aspects of Warriparinga are inseparable. The development of a wetland in 1990, and Indigenous revegetation by local schools and environment groups, have made the area a living testimony to Aboriginal principles of ecological land management, where Kaurna, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can come together in a natural bushland space in the heart of the city.
Warriparinga is a spiritually significant site for the Kaurna Family Clan Groups. It is also a place of remembrance, ceremony and preservation of the contemporary Kaurna Tribal Model. In Kaurna language ‘Warri Parri' means windy place by the river. The Sturt River runs through this 3.5 hectare reserve on the corner of Sturt and Marion Roads, and the winds that come to Warriparinga still speak to the surviving Kaurna Custodians there.
Georgina William's vision of recovery of the Dreaming of the Land and recognition of the dispossessed Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains have been a key factor in the planning and success of this project.
Resources: the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre was supported by the Commonwealth Federation Grants program. The Tjirbruki Gateway was commissioned by the City of Marion as part of the Local Councils Remember Program, a partnership between the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the Australian Local Government Association.
Courtesy of Creative Communities and the Creating Communities project kit, which comprises:
• Guidelines for developing and maintaining an arts and cultural policy
• Good practice story sheets
• Policy story sheets
|The Living Kaurna Cultural Centre. Photographer: Suzy Stiles|