Marrawuddi Arts leads the way in Jabiru’s post-mining transition
[by Kirsten Blair]
Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula opened the centre. Image: supplied
Marrawuddi Arts, owned and operated by Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of the Mirarr Traditional Owners, opened at the beautifully refurbished premises in the heart of Jabiru.
An exciting occasion in itself, the day also signified a new chapter in the Mirarr-led transition of the town of Jabiru.
Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula invited guests to the opening event with these words: “Join Mirarr to celebrate the beginning of this new chapter in Jabiru: for community, country and culture.”
Mirarr Traditional Owner Simon Mudjandi said: “Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter for Jabiru and Kakadu. With the opening of the new Marrawuddi Arts Centre, Jabiru’s transition from mining town to an Aboriginal owned community centre and tourism hub really begins.”
Previously located at the now closed Bowali Visitors Centre (at Kakadu National Park headquarters), Marrawuddi has long been been a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
In recent times, nurtured by the clear vision and strong commitment of Mirarr and the gallery management team, Marrawuddi has evolved to become a community arts centre working closely with local artists.
In September 2019, Marrawuddi coordinated local and interstate artists to paint a stunning mural on the external walls of Jabiru’s old bakery building in anticipation of the move. This visual transformation signals the change ahead for Jabiru once a formal township lease commences in 2021.
“Marrawuddi Arts is a truly exciting next step for us,” said Marrawuddi Manager Katie Hagebols.
“We have been working closely with artists from across the region to develop their arts practice for some time. The bigger spaces at this new site mean we can offer welcoming areas for artists to work as well as a larger retail area and more central location for tourists to find us.
“With our new café and and LaMarzocco espresso machine, we’re also offering Kakadu’s best coffee. Everyone should come and have a great coffee and spend some time admiring the marvellous West Arnhem art available at the gallery,” Ms Hagebols said.
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