Above: Akeyulerre premises at 3-5 Stuart terrace will become home to the Arrernte Living Culture Centre. Photo from our archive.
Two and a half years after plans were first taken to Canberra, Akeyulerre Inc will get to build its Arrernte Living Culture Centre, with the Territory Government providing $5 million dollars for the project.
Akeyulerre Inc is a not-for-profit Arrernte-governed organisation based in Alice Springs, established in 2000 by Arrernte Elders to strengthen their families, support them to practice and maintain their culture, and pass it on to next generations.
The organisation uses cultural priorities of the Arrernte community to strengthen and support disadvantaged families and engage Arrernte people in employment and meaningful activities.
The Living Culture Centre will be developed at Akeyulerre’s premises on Stuart Terrace. Design work has begun with award-winning local architect Susan Dugdale & Associates.
Right: The business plan for the centre was developed using the metaphor of a tree. Its roots are sunk deep in the ground of traditional Arrernte life – land, language, law, culture, kin – while the trunk is the contemporary organisation, branching out from which are the programs that underpin well-being.
It will be a place where Arrernte families can host visitors, locals and tourists alike, who want to learn about Arrernte culture directly from Arrernte people themselves. This, in the Akeyulerre vision, will provide not only more opportunities for meaningful employment and the resulting income, but also greater inter-cultural understanding. Win-win.
It will also allow Akeyulerre to expand its many healing projects, cultural activities, teaching work by elders for kids, social enterprise activities including its bush medicine business, and its language work.
Note: For a detailed account of the background to Akeyulerre Inc and this project see ‘Canberra to hear Arrernte plans for a Living Culture Centre’ by Kieran Finnane.