Aboriginal centre should have positive focus: Elder

AN Indigenous cultural centre in Fremantle should focus on more positive Aboriginal history, and not be all about incarceration, says Noongar elder Sealin Garlett

This week Fremantle council voted to undertake a $30,000 feasibility study into a centre at Victoria Quay, as part of the South Quay development.

Mr Garlett says most of the Noongar history in Fremantle revolves around Indigenous incarceration.

“Really, the only big connection a lot of people have with Aboriginal people’s history is the old gaol,” he says.

“I think the cultural centre is a proud opportunity to share our richness on a very vast and old society and shed light on positive stories.”

Mr Garlett has been disappointed with the stuttering progress of an Aboriginal cultural centre at Elizabeth Quay, and says its nice to see Freo council stepping up to the plate.

There is already a Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre in a cottage at Arthur’s Head, but Mr Garlett says it is too cramped and a bandaid solution.

“We’ve been hoping for a new centre. We were disappointed when they gave us a few rooms at the back of the Roundhouse.”

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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