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Waymbuurr Cultural Centre

The redevelopment of the Cooktown Boathouse into the Waymbuurr Cultural Centre, will be a legacy project for the 2020 Commemorations.  The new Cultural Centre will help with the on-going revitalisation of Cooktown and the advancement of the region’s unique shared cultural heritage.

CA Architects worked closely with Cook Shire Council to develop a design for the redevelopment of the Waymbuurr Cultural Centre which will operate as an interactive meeting place, offering opportunities for storytelling, indigenous cultural workshops and presentations, education and training.

It will play a crucially important role in strengthening and sharing Cooktown and the Cape York Region’s heritage and cultural values.

Partnering with the Pama Language Centre, James Cook University, The National Library and The National Museum, we propose to re-develop the currently small exhibition area and enlarge the facility to accommodate a range of flexible spaces.

The building will be redesigned to accommodate a media and exhibition space showing historical images, language, cultural films and recordings; a learning centre and library and a ‘storytelling’ / area where the Traditional Owners and other regional clan groups can share their stories with visitors and the local school children.

The Boathouse facility is currently managed by members of the Cooktown Re-enactment Association, Loretta Sullivan and Alberta Hornsby, who have worked tirelessly to promote Cooktown’s unique cultural history and its story of the first recorded act of reconciliation.

This first contact story is of central importance to the beginning of Australia’s modern history and in the spirit of reconciliation, should be shared with Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people from Australia and the world.

Based on the Captain Cook’s seven week stay on the Banks of the Endeavour River (Waalumball Birri), Cooktown can authentically lay claim to Australia’s first recorded act of reconciliation and the first recorded wordlist of an Indigenous language, Guugu Yimidhirr.