Despite the long lasting effects of cultural disruption, knowledge and collection gathering in NSW, communities have been building exponentially for some time. There is a noticeable growth in identity, self-esteem and pride amongst Aboriginal communities through identifying local heritage and culture, and exploring related interpretative and art-based practices and resources.
Much of this work is led or solely done by willing, but under resourced, volunteer Aboriginal community leaders. M&G NSW acknowledges that the comparative underdevelopment of Aboriginal owned and managed facilities in NSW requires a specific focus on grassroots organisational development in the regions, and by communities themselves embracing technology.
Aboriginal Culture, Heritage & Arts Association
The Aboriginal Culture, Heritage & Arts Association Inc (ACHAA) has been established with facilitation by M&G NSW to support Aboriginal owned cultural venues in NSW. It is a key recommendation from the 2011 summit Keeping places & beyond: building cultural futures in NSW organised by M&G NSW and was unanimously further endorsed by community consultations. ACHAA was established by NSW Aboriginal cultural venues and exists to:
- Create a sustainable and resilient network of NSW Aboriginal culture, heritage & arts organisations.
- Provide and facilitate training and development for those who work and volunteer in the NSW Aboriginal culture, heritage and arts place based sector.
- Promote the value of NSW Aboriginal culture, heritage and arts and artists to the broader arts, heritage and culture sector and wider community.
- Engage with all levels of government and non-government organisations for the support and promotion of NSW Aboriginal culture, heritage and arts.
The founding members of ACHAA are: Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place Incorporated; Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co operative; Boolarng Nangamai Aboriginal Art and Culture Studio; Miromaa Language and Technology Centre; Muda Aboriginal Corporation; Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Education Centre; Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Corporation and Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre Corporation. They have since been joined by Dunghutti Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery (Kempsey); Minjungbal Aboriginal Museum (Tweed Heads); Dharriwaa Elders Group (Walgett); Murrook Culture Centre (Williamtown). These are the core voting members of ACHAA.
There are also a range of supporting Associate Members including state institutions, regional venues and organisations.
Reconciliation Action Plan
RAP stands for Reconciliation Action Plan. It’s an initiative of Reconciliation Australia.
Reconciliation Australia’s “vision is for an Australia that recognises and respects the special place, culture, rights and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and where good relationships between First Australians and other Australians become the foundation for local strength and success; and the enhancement of our national wellbeing.”
So what’s in a RAP?
RAP is a plan – its a way of turning good intentions into actions. Every RAP is specific to each organisation and outlines the practical actions the organisation will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
RAP On-line hub
There’s a bunch of fantastic resources to be found on the on-line hub and a step-by-step outline of how to get started. You can also read some of the inspirational success stories.