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Government announces Ngurra, Indigenous cultural precinct, for Canberra

The Prime Minister has announced the government has allocated $316.5m to build Ngurra, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural precinct, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle, on Ngunnawal country (Canberra).

Ngurra, a Western Desert word 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).

PM’s media announcement. Nine Newspapers editorial. The Australian inc video.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new precinct ‘would take its place among Australia’s premier institutions in the parliamentary triangle as a place of national pride and significance’. Although it would be on the Old Parliament House-Australian War Memorial axis (‘demonstrating the importance and reverence this institution should hold’), there was no specific mention of whether it would commemorate Indigenous deaths in the Frontier Wars. Former War Memorial Director Brendan Nelson very recently spoke of the need to commemorate the Unknown Indigenous Custodians. Comment on Nelson.

6 January 2022