A significant step forward for the $9.5million Baaka Cultural Centre project with the contract to build the centre, at 44 Reid Street Wilcannia, signed and funded by the federal ($4.15m) and NSW governments ($5.4m).
The new Baaka Cultural Centre will repurpose the Knox and Downs building in the centre of Wilcannia.
Baaka Cultural Centre CEO, Grant Leslie, said the aim of the centre was to bring awareness to the culture and traditions of Aboriginal people of the middle and lower Darling River region and to support cultural initiatives in the wider community.
“It will be a keeping place for important Baakantji artefacts and be a place for past, present and future artists to display their works. It will include a language lab with the intent to help to preserve local dialects.
“The centre has a range of strategic objectives that include employment and economic development opportunities for Aboriginal people living in the Far West. This is an exciting time for the Far West,” Mr Leslie said.
Central Darling Shire Council General Manager, Greg Hill, thanked the federal and state governments for their funding support and welcomed the historic signing of the contract.
“The Baaka Cultural Centre will be a tremendous asset to the Wilcannia community and Central Darling Shire. The benefits it will bring to our community and economy are significant. We are all very much looking forward to seeing the building works start,” Mr Hill said.
The building should be completed by the end of October 2024.