A major initiative of the Far West Aboriginal Tourism Strategy has received the green light with the announcement by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion and Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey for a new Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre in Ceduna.

Mr Scullion said the Government is investing $800,000 to construct this centre and showcase the region’s Indigenous art, culture and and heritage and support new jobs for Aboriginal residents.

“This investment is being made out of existing funding within the $5.2 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy which is building safer communities, getting kids to school and creating new jobs.

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the Aboriginal art industry is one of the most successful enterprises in remote communities and this centre will give expanded opportunities of employment while providing the town with an excellent tourist attraction.

“These works will see the construction of an art gallery and cafe to unlock a whole range of new economic opportunities.”

The Tourism Strategy, which has been developed by the Far West Aboriginal Communities under the guidance of Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula, aims to provide support to current and emerging Aboriginal tourism enterprises, and mainstream tourism ventures that employ Aboriginal people in the Far West of South Australia.

CEO of Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula Mr Dion Dorward is pleased that the strategy had been used to direct strategic investment into the region.

“We have seen significant recent investment into a number of initiatives outlined in the strategy, and associated business plans, such as the Arts Centre, Yalata Caravan Park and the Koonibba store all supported by further investment into marketing and capacity building.

“Howard Coote, our Indigenous Economic Development Manager, will continue to work collaboratively with the Aboriginal communities, regional leaders and all levels of government to ensure that we all maximise the potential of this $800,000 announcement.”

“RDAWEP has long recognised the importance of tourism and the wider visitor economy to enhancing the lives of Aboriginal people and communities throughout our region.  We strongly believe that we have some of the most authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences and are working hard to ensure that we meet market expectations.

“A new quality facility showcasing Aboriginal art and culture will be a significant drawcard for Ceduna, greatly increasing the community’s ability to capture and grow a percentage of the $270m regional tourism economy.  Rowan Ramsey understands just how important this project is and he has persevered to make this job-creating project happen.”