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Carrolup Centre and new Yarning Circle to celebrate NAIDOC Week at Curtin

Media release

In partnership with Nyungar Elders and community, Curtin University has established the Carrolup Centre for Truth-telling and unveiled its new Yarning Circle as part of its NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations.

Today Nyungar Elders and community joined The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon Ben Wyatt MLA and United States Consul General Perth, David J. Gainer for the establishment of the Carrolup Centre for Truth-telling – a permanent home for a collection of rare artworks created by Aboriginal children of Australia’s Stolen Generations at the Carrolup Native Settlement, and a place to engage the wider community in truth-telling, healing and reconciliation.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Cordery said Curtin was proud to recognise and celebrate this year’s NAIDOC theme – Always Was, Always Will Be – which acknowledges that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

“We are delighted to celebrate and formally launch these two important initiatives during NAIDOC week. Both the Carrolup Centre for Truth-telling and the Yarning Circle are significant projects for the University and a celebration of Indigenous history and of Curtin’s commitment to reconciliation,” Professor Cordery said.

“The overarching vision for the Carrolup Centre is being shaped by Nyungar Elders and community. With the Carrolup artworks as its foundation, a range of ground breaking projects showcasing Curtin’s strength in research will enable the wider story of the Stolen Generations to be more broadly understood.

“Curtin University and the John Curtin Gallery are privileged to be the custodians of the collection that we believe should have a permanent home.”

Mr Tony Hansen, Chair of the Carrolup Elders Reference Group said the Carrolup Centre will be an enduring reminder of the legacy of the First Nations people.

“This project will create an important space for all people to come together to learn about the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal people, with these very special Carrolup artworks at its heart,” Mr Hansen said.

Curtin University has invited business leaders and community members to contribute to the Carrolup Centre for Truth-telling, by making a financial donation to ensure it can build a lasting and easily accessible home for these works and wider projects. More than 250 donors have already given generously, including global resources company, BHP.

BHP’s Head of Corporate Affairs Meath Hammond said BHP is honoured to support the Carrolup Centre.

“We believe strongly in the Centre’s vision to deliver significant educational, research and community engagement benefits and outcomes that will make a substantial contribution to the healing of Stolen Generations survivors and their families, and to improve the understanding of all West Australians,” Mr Hammond said.

“We have confidence in Curtin University to follow the counsel of Aboriginal Elders, and to create a Centre grounded in compassion and respect.”

Curtin’s new Yarning Circle, an outdoor venue that will provide the University and wider community with a space to pause, meet, reflect and yarn, has also been launched during NAIDOC Week.

Located close to the John Curtin Gallery next to Jack Finney Lake, the Curtin University Learning Circle, also known as the Yarning Circle, will be used for On Country and integrated learning experiences for Curtin students, staff and visitors to the Perth Campus.

Curtin’s Nyungar Cultural Advisor, Ingrid Cumming said the Yarning Circle is a place for people to have “kwop wongi” or good yarns, sharing in our collective kadadjiny (knowledge) about gnullar boorda koorliny (our future journey), that being in reconciliation.

“Traditionally, a “karla mia” (home of the fire) or yarning circle is a place where people come together to share knowledge, reflect on issues and celebrate our successes, as a community,” Mrs Cumming said.

“Curtin’s Yarning Circle is open to all staff, students and the community, to use as a place to nih, barruniny, wongi (to listen, connect and communicate) in relation to First Nations knowledge, country and community. We are proud as an Elevate RAP organisation, to create a space, where we bring together two worlds, to learn how to better walk forward together.”

Further information on the Curtin University Yarning Circle can be found online here.

For more on the Carrolup Centre for Truth-telling and to become a donor please visit here.

The Koorliny Mia Whadjuk Boodja (Carrolup Artworks Back Home) Exhibition at the John Curtin Gallery is open to the public until 13 December. Entry is free.