- City’s collaborative consultation for its Aboriginal Cultural and Visitors Centre has received the Judge’s Encouragement Award at the International Association for Public Participation Australasia (IAP2) Core Value Awards for 2022
- The City designed a bespoke consultation in collaboration with the Cockburn Aboriginal Reference Group and local Beeliar Boodjar Elders during finalisation of the proposed centre’s design and location
- The awards recognise excellence in community engagement and public participation.
The City of Cockburn’s collaborative consultation for its highly anticipated Aboriginal Cultural and Visitors Centre has received the Judges' Encouragement Award at the International Association for Public Participation Australasia (IAP2) Core Value Awards for 2022.
The City designed a bespoke consultation in collaboration with the Cockburn Aboriginal Reference Group and local Beeliar Boodjar Elders during finalisation of the proposed centre’s design and location.
The City was one of 18 national finalists in the core value awards announced at the IAP2 Australasia Conference in Melbourne on 27 October. The awards recognise excellence in community engagement and public participation.
The judges' commented that it was great to see an example of First Nations people providing input to the development of a building that would showcase their culture to the entire community – an example of starting out with a set idea and adapting/changing based on engagement.
"An agile approach to the challenges faced and how the team adapted to create better outcomes for the local indigenous communities. The challenges faced by this program and response to these, including the decision to change the approach and allow more time is to be commended."
City of Cockburn Acting CEO Victoria Green said the consultation process was vital to achieving robust engagement using non-traditional methods.
“This ensured the sentiment of our Aboriginal community was captured to authentically inform the project which has been endorsed by Cockburn council,” Ms Green said.
Attracting about 20,000 visitors annually, the ACVC will generate employment and small business opportunities for Aboriginal people, creating dedicated roles to ensure particular activities can be delivered by Aboriginal people.
The project has experienced delays due to current market conditions, and construction is earmarked for the western side of Bibra Lake.
The ACVC was identified as part of the City’s first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2011, with $100,000 allocated in the 2018-19 budget to enable completion of preliminary designs, site studies and community consultation.
The centre itself will resemble the shape of the local Southwestern snake-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga - prev. C. colliei
) – known as Yakaan or Booyi in the local Nyungar language – which inhabits Bibra Lake.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of the City, Murdoch University and volunteer citizen scientists as part of the Turtle Tracker program, the near-threatened turtle is experiencing a resurgence at the lake.
The centre is the culmination of many years of design work, gathering funds and consulting with the community, including during the recent restrictive COVID-19 isolation periods.
Visit the ACVC project page
on the City's website for more information.