Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre


Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre

The Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre (TATSICC) is a cultural exhibit venue for the Indigenous community in North Queensland, located in the Reef HQ Complex in Townsville's City Centre, it showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture, traditions and heritage to the local, national and international markets. Ian Frazer Mixed feelings Long-time campaigners for a cultural centre for indigenous people, Ernie and Maud Hoolihan say the new centre is not the meeting place they envisaged 30 years ago but it's better than nothing. Townsville Bulletin Weekend extra published 14 January 2006 p38] Townsville Bulletin Opening postponed published 12 July 2005 p3] The centre hosts performance and visual arts events, presenting daily performances of dance, music, story telling and presenting insights into the indigenous people of the North Queensland region. Townsville Sun Community Newspaper School's over let's get to it published 20 July 2005 p8] The centre also provides small business training to Indigenous artists. Kerri-Anne Mesner Artists primed to tap into tourism market Townsville Sun Community Newspaper published 15 June 2005 p11]

TATSSICC hosts an Interpretive Gallery which houses a selection of historic and contemporary artefacts and information collected from North Queensland. Also included are commercial fine arts gallery exhibits including a selection of works by Indigenous artists of regional and national acclaim. A primary aim of the centre is to provide facilities for Indigenous performance/dance groups to practice and display their craft. Guided tours of the Gallery and art exhibits are provided for group tours and there are two public dance performances each day.cite web|url=http://www.grailfilms.com.au/tatsicc_newsletters/august/print_newsletter.pdf|title=TATSSICC Newsletter September 2005|accessdate=2007-01-16]

The Centre has five full-time staff and offers 12 one-year traineeships for unemployed Indigenous people with grant funds of $400,000 from the State and Federal Government.] It includes performance space, an artisans' gallery and work area, a cafe, retail space, courtyard, green room for VIPs, and a steel sculpture collection of indigenous silhouettes. Andy Toulson Building on culture Townsville Bulletin published 19 January 2005 p8]

History

It was officially launched in July 2005 at an indigenous expo attended by 500 people] where Elders performed a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony to clear the area of evil spirits and a traditional song of prayer was given by Torres Strait Islander elders to protect visitors to the centre. Leonie Johnson Bless this centre Cultures run deep at spiritual opening Townsville Bulletin published 23 May 2005 p5] The Centre then opened for business in August of that year.]

Originally envisaged as a place of meeting for indigenous people to mix and teach their culture both to the younger generations and to other interested people. Planning and lobbying for the Cultural Centre had been ongoing since the 1960s. Since then at least five schemes were proposed until settling on the Reef HQ complex site in 2003 where the Cultural Centre finally found a home. Before the centre was established it was difficult to rent venues for demonstration events of Aboriginal cultural or meetings and planning sessions for the Cultural Centre. Previously the Dean Park Soundshell was canvassed as a potential site for TATSICC which would also have provide open spaces for cultural activities, however this option was vetoed by the City Council.]

In October 1999, the Federal Government announced a Centenary of Federation grant of $3 million for a "North Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre". The now defunct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission contributed $2 million. and the then Townsville Regional Council of ATSIC furthered the cause by contributing $80,000 for a strategic plan.]

Once commissioned the project was spearheaded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders Advisory Committee of Townsville City Council from October 1999 to July 2001, planning was then taken over by a Queensland Heritage Trails Network Cultural Centre Steering Committee. The Centre cost a total of about $6 million.]

References


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