FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has today received a proposal that if successful – would see Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park become the site of Australia’s first national Indigenous museum.
At a media event this morning, Tjapukai Board Chairman Bruce Glanville formally announced the concept, which was initially suggested by Mr Entsch during the centre’s 25th anniversary celebrations last year.
An application has now been made to the Federal Government to fund an independent feasibility study.
Mr Entsch said he had long believed Tropical North Queensland, with its diverse mix of Indigenous cultures, was the appropriate location for a national museum.
“Australia needs a national museum as a mark of respect to our country’s first inhabitants and to educate the world about their rich culture,” he said.
“Cairns is now the third most popular holiday destination for international visitors after Sydney and Melbourne and an Australian Indigenous museum will add to the depth of experiences our region offers.
Warren receives the proposal from Tjapukai Chairman Bruce Glanville.
“Housing the museum at Tjapukai makes sense as it will give visitors the opportunity to experience authentic Indigenous culture on many different levels that are engaging, entertaining and above all, educational.”
Mr Glanville said the project would see Tjapukai build Australia’s most comprehensive exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history using state-of -the-art interactive technologies, drawing on artefact collections across the globe and involving traditional owners from around Australia.
“We believe a national Indigenous museum could be central to the reconciliation process by becoming a centre of learning, engagement and interaction that would give all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a place where they can proudly celebrate their culture and display it to a wide audience,” Mr Glanville said.
“Tjapukai is in the first stage of a $12 million transformation to become Australia’s leading venue to experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture where people from around the world will come to see our country through the eyes of Australia’s Indigenous people.
Warren discusses the renovation project with Tjapukai workers (L-R) Ruben Nolan, Carl Brim and Luke Clubb.
“A national museum is a perfect fit as it would have an immediate global audience, complement the authentic cultural experiences at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and provide more employment for Indigenous people.”