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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Ngurra: The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct

Ngurra: The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Precinct

Indigenous Affairs Culture and Capability
Thursday, 06 January 2022

National Indigenous Australians Agency

Aerial map of Canberra with landmarks including Parliament House, Canberra City, National Carillon, National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial identified. In the middle is a pin with the words ‘Ngurra: The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Cultural Precinct’ shown.

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural precinct, Ngurra, will be built on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle, on Ngunnawal country (Canberra).

Ngurra, meaning ‘home’, ‘country’ or ‘place of belonging’, will include a learning and knowledge centre, a national resting place to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and a new home for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

The new $316.5 million precinct will take its place among Australia’s premier institutions in the parliamentary triangle as a place of national pride and significance.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said ‘It will be a national landmark of the highest order, standing proudly for us all to celebrate, educate, reflect and commemorate’.

Ngurra will be built in Commonwealth Place, on the primary axis in the Parliamentary Triangle – between Old Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.

‘At its heart will be a national resting place where the remains of Indigenous Australians taken from their country will be cared for until they are able to be returned to their communities,’ Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said.

Minister Wyatt said “Ngurra will provide a new perspective on our shared history, as a significant moment for truth-telling, and a new place where the diversity of Indigenous Australia and one of the world’s oldest living cultures will be celebrated.”

An architectural design competition will be run in 2022 to develop an iconic design fitting for the location and that reflects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ aspirations, achievements and deep connection to Country.