By ERWIN CHLANDA
“It’s needed in Australia so let’s have it here.”
Chamber of Commerce CEO Kay Eade (at right) gives her enthusiastic thumbs-up to the proposed national indigenous culture centre in Alice Springs.
As she understands it, the promoters want it to be “living” – a permanent building but with an ever changing content and – lively.
Static displays would be enhanced by performances ranging from painting, preparing bush tucker, use of traditional medicine, dancing, to speaking traditional languages and historic re-enactments.
Ms Eade says “sitting in the dirt, painting or weaving baskets” could be part an authentic portrayal of an ancient culture more alive here than in most other places of Australia.
“Visitors are amazed that you can buy kangaroo tails at the butchers, and people in town speak native languages which have faded elsewhere,” she says.
This would make a perfect setting to celebrate indigenous culture from all corners of the country – all year ’round, providing a powerful reason for tourists to come here.
Ms Eade says the idea had been floated many years ago, and it’s clear that there will be hurdles.
One would be that indigenous families don’t always agree with one another.
The location is likely to spark debate: Should it be in the middle of town or at its periphery – perhaps the Desert Park or the Desert Knowledge complex?
Where will the money come from – private enterprise or governments or both?
Meanwhile Mayor Damien Ryan (at left) says the idea has the full support of the town council in response to the presentation by Harold Furber and Scott McConnell.
“We listened to their case and it is a very good case,” Mayor Ryan said.
The project would need some funding from the Federal government.
He says the idea had been discussed in broad terms for some six years.
At this point all the council had been asked for was its support and “we have done what we were asked for”.