Dubbo Wiradjuri Tourism Centre

Wiradjuri Garden tile


Summary: The Dubbo Wiradjuri Tourism Centre, that will enable the return to Country of sacred Aboriginal carved trees, will deliver an Aboriginal cultural experience truly unique to Dubbo and supports Dubbo in becoming a centre of cultural tourism, driving growth in the international visitor market. The construction of tourism infrastructure will deliver economic growth and productivity for both the Dubbo Region with flow-on effects across the NSW economy.

A display of sacred trees, artefacts and appropriate interpretation forms the focal point of the Centre, where local Indigenous artists have space to develop their works (with opportunity for retail) and visitors can immerse themselves in Wiradjuri art and culture, followed by local produce at the Centre’s café.

Some significant milestones have already been achieved with the first quarter of project management for the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre and Garden. The Wiradjuri Technical Advisory Panel members were selected based on merit and required skills stipulated in the request for applications. Meeting dates are set for the year and three meetings have already been held successfully keeping momentum for project timelines. The preparation in project planning includes completion of a project plan mapping session with stakeholders. The completion of a detailed project scope document and a revised architecture mock up for consideration based on preliminary stakeholder feedback has also been achieved. In addition to Wiradjuri Technical Advisory Panel meetings additional stakeholder engagement recently completed includes process driven discussion with the Australian Museum for the long term loan on the Dubbo Wiradjuri Scar Trees and any additional Dubbo Wiradjuri artefacts currently in storage.

Budget: Funding available for the Dubbo Wiradjuri Tourism Centre is $4,157,614. The Dubbo Wiradjuri Tourism Centre project aligns to a separate yet complimentary development of a new Wiradjuri Gardens within the existing Dubbo Botanical Gardens at Elizabeth Park. Separate funding of $900,000 (NSW Stronger Communities for Stage 1) was garnered for the development of immersive Indigenous gardens.

Status: Consultation / Design

Timeline: The Destination Dubbo project aligns with the requirements of the NSW Restart Fund and, in turn, the Regional Growth: Environment and Tourism Fund timelines. Estimated delivery date will be mid 2022.

Contractor: TBA

Plans: In development. Architecture Tender awarded to Peter Stutchbury Architecture.

Tender proposal - Wiradjuri Tourism Centre 2

Image caption: Architect's impression of the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre

Project Update: In August 2021, Dubbo Regional Council Awarded the architecture tender for the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre to Peter Stutchbury Architecture. Mr Stutchbury has worked alongside Aboriginal Elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun for more than 23 years to come up with concepts that reveal the underlying characteristics of the site where buildings will be located. When tendering for the design of the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre, applicants had to fulfill a number of weighted criteria, which included strong cultural alignment and connection to country.

An Expression of Interest was submitted to industry for design and documentation for the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre. Applicants were asked to demonstrate previous experience in construction of Indigenous cultural centres and/or resting place. 27 applications were received. An internal tender selection panel was established to review EOI Architect submissions.

A shortlist was formed from the submitted tenders, based on a vigorous, weighted matrix of suitability, experience and alignment to specific criteria. A thorough financial assessment process has also been undertaken. The shortlist has been presented to the Wiradjuri Technical Advisory Panel (WTAP) members for feedback.

The WTAP members continue to meet on a monthly basis. Agenda items are sent in advance of the meetings and each meeting is mapped and themed to ensure project timeline alignment.

The WTAP continue to have conversations with Community and identified groups regarding the recording and curation of stories and ideas for the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre.

A cultural sub-committee will be created from the Panel and include other community members, to specifically provide cultural guidance to the repatriation of artefacts including carved trees from the Australian museum for curation and safe housing at the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre. The WTAP will make recommendations on specific community members in particular Traditional Owners who would be culturally appropriate to be part of the cultural sub-committee. The current format of the WTAP will be dissolved in August 2021 to make way for a Wiradjuri Tourism Centre future strategic cultural governance model. The future strategic cultural governance model is being determined by the current iteration of the WTAP. It is proposed this technical, cultural advisory panel be considered by the new council in October 2021 and align to Councils advisory committees.

The current WTAP was formed as a result of Dubbo Regional Council widely advertising an expression of interest for community members to offer cultural guidance to the Destination Dubbo projects. Panel intakes have occurred in December 2019 and November 2020. The WTAP has been formed on community skills of Wiradjuri culture and language, Tourism operations, Economic development (business/employment/skills), Local Aboriginal community engagement and youth voice. Meetings are held once per month on the 4th Thursday of each month since Feb 2020. Meeting minutes available to the community, Meeting topics mapped in advance for preparation and information gathering from community and all panel members are responsible for Stakeholder Engagement, sharing of minutes and project communication with their extended community networks.


Wiradjuri Technical Advisory Panel

Current members of the WTAP include the following community representatives:\

  • Lewis Burns
  • Brian Ah-see
  • Peter Peckham
  • Anthony Riley
  • Paul Carr
  • Robert Riley
  • Shirley Wilson
  • Mary Ann Hausia
  • Tony Fuller
  • Paycee Cubby
  • Charlie Trindall
  • Amy Cubby
  • Tatum Moore
  • Ashleigh Knight.




Latest Media Release: Tender Awarded for Wiradjuri Tourism Centre

Last Edited: 22 Sep 2021

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