Elders share story only they can tell

Gwoonwardu Mia centre celebrates first Australians through their own words

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LORE OF THE LAND: The recently reopened centre aims to enlighten and engage with visitors, some of whom will be encountering Aboriginal culture and heritage for the first time.

LORE OF THE LAND: The recently reopened centre aims to enlighten and engage with visitors, some of whom will be encountering Aboriginal culture and heritage for the first time.

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Carnarvon centre invites visitors to experience culture of Gascoyne Aboriginal people.

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Visitors to the Gwoonwardu Mia Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre now have a unique opportunity to experience and celebrate the five language groups of the region.

The centre in Carnarvon was reopened late last year, putting it back on a sustainable path and creating an impressive cultural tourism destination for the region.

It features an award-winning exhibition Burlganyja Wanggaya: Old People Talking - Listen, Learn and Respect, which shares the stories of Gascoyne Aboriginal people in their own words, using text, images, audio and film.

Centre manager Lionel Quartermaine said the response to the reopennig had been fantastic and locals and tourists were impressed by the stories and experiences.

"Gwoonwardu Mia is hugely important for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people because it creates a respectful space for Western Australians and tourists to experience the culture and stories of Aboriginal people that are unique to this region," he said

IMMERSIVE: The centre abounds with artifacts and stories for young and old alike.

IMMERSIVE: The centre abounds with artifacts and stories for young and old alike.

"The stories are extraordinary. They are vibrant and beautiful. They can also be painful and contested. But they are authentic and unique to the traditional owners of this land."

Mr Quartermaine said the centre showcases the influence of Gascoyne Aboriginal people on WA's cultural landscape.

For some tourists, this will be their first encounter with Aboriginal culture and heritage.

"This centre is about celebrating and recognising the Aboriginal culture of the five language groups of the Gascoyne region."

Gwoonwardu Mia's grounds and garden are based on the region's plants and how they are used by local Aboriginal people.

Gwoonwardu Mia, 46 Robinson Street, Carnarvon WA

IF YOU GO...

October-March - Sun-Mon: closed; Tues- Fri: 9.30am-3.30pm; Sat: 9am-3pm. April-September - Mon-Fri: 9.30am-3.30pm; weekend: 9am-3pm

General admission free. Entry to exhibitions: $10/$8/$5 (free for postcode 6701)

9941-1989, www.gahcc.com.au

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