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Detailed business cases - First Nations Cultural Centres

Background

The Queensland Government is leading the development of business cases for First Nations Cultural Centres in Brisbane and in Cairns.

It is envisioned these Cultural Centres will be places to share the history, stories, and truth telling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and act as hubs that connect with First Nations communities across the state, including the network of Indigenous Art Centres and other significant sites and locations throughout Queensland.

Targeted engagement with Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and key stakeholders, including but not limited to Tourism Bodies, Local Government, Government related entities, and Arts Statutory bodies, will be a priority to ensure the business cases are informed by evidence and best practice, and accurately reflect feedback from Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and key stakeholders.

These projects elevate First Nations arts and cultures as a priority of the Queensland Government’s Creative Together 2020-2030: A 10-year Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland, support the Path to Treaty process, celebrate First Nations arts and cultures ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and create employment and skills development opportunities. The establishment of the First Nations Cultural Centres would also deliver on the State's ambitious tourism industry strategy Towards Tourism 2032.

Benefits

 It is anticipated that the First Nations Cultural Centres will:

  • create greater recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures that heals the wounds of the past.
  • provide exposure to new domestic and international art and tourist markets.
  • be large scale authentic and educational Indigenous offerings that present the unique cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • enable collaboration with other jurisdictions.
  • leverage Queensland’s competitive advantage as home to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Timeline

First Nations Cultural Centres timeline

 

The Project

  • In August 2023 Ms Georgina Richters, Principal and Lead of the majority Aboriginal owned firm First Nations Advisory, was appointed as the First Nations Project Lead to lead the delivery of the business cases and manage all interfaces with external specialist advisors. 
  • Initial planning has been completed and project governance is being implemented.
  • The First Nations Lead for Cairns, Julie-ann Lambourne, commenced in September 2023 to lead the First Nations engagement in Cairns.
  • The Business Case Advisor, BDO Infrastructure Advisory, commenced in November 2023 to deliver the technical work packages for the project.
  • Planning for the FNCC governance model, curatorial frameworks and the cultural permission framework commenced in January 2024, and builds on the extensive work completed as part of the strategic business case and options analysis.
  • First Nations Cultural Centre project meetings have been held with all of the Traditional Owner groups for both Brisbane and Cairns.
  • For more information contact: fncc@arts.qld.gov.au

Brisbane

  • In 2018, the Queensland Government began investigating the development of a First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane to celebrate and showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' cultures and arts, and truthfully explain the history of our past and present.
  • In 2019 the Queensland Government completed a strategic business case that confirmed the need for an iconic First Nations Cultural Centre.
  • The 2019–20 Queensland Budget provided funding of $2 million over two years to deliver an options analysis for an iconic First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane.
  • In 2020 a strategic business case options analysis was completed to confirm the service need and investigate potential sites.
  • In July 2021 Brisbane (and South East Queensland) was announced as host for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • In March 2022, the Australian Government, Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors (South East Queensland) committed a further $3 million through the South East Queensland City Deal for a Detailed Business Case for a First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane.
  • In February 2024, meetings were held with the Traditional Owner Family groups of Brisbane to discuss the First Nations Cultural Centre project.
  • Site options for Brisbane continue to be assessed.

Cairns

  • In May 2023, the Queensland Government announced the development of a Business Case for a First Nations Cultural Centre in Cairns, acknowledging the significant opportunity to recognise the contributions of First Nations peoples in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait. There has been no previous work undertaken for a First Nations Cultural Centre in Cairns.
  • Initial engagement has occurred with the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji Traditional Owners, and a Cairns Traditional Owner Steering Committee has been established.
  • Initial engagement with representatives from the Yirrganydji People has commenced.
  • On 8 November 2023 the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji Steering Committee held its first meeting in Cairns.
  • On 5 February 2024 the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji Steering Committee held its second meeting in Cairns to consider site options and functional requirements for the Cairns First Nations Cultural Centre.   
  • Site options for Cairns continue to be investigated.


Frequently asked questions

Australia has the oldest living continuous cultures in the world, with Queensland uniquely home to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

For more than two decades there has been an ambition to establish a First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane.

  • In 2018, the Queensland Government began investigating the development of a First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane to celebrate and showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' cultures and arts, and truthfully explain the history of our past and present.
  • In 2019 the Queensland Government completed a strategic business case that confirmed the need for an iconic First Nations Cultural Centre.
  • The 2019–20 Queensland Budget provided funding of $2 million over two years to deliver an options analysis for an iconic First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane.
  • In 2020 an options analysis was completed to confirm the service need and investigate potential sites.
  • In July 2021 Brisbane (and South East Queensland) was announced as host for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • In March 2022, the Australian Government, Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors (South East Queensland) committed a further $3 million through the South East Queensland City Deal for a Detailed Business Case for a First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane.
  • In May 2023, the Queensland Government announced the development of a Business Case for a First Nations Cultural Centre in Cairns, acknowledging the significant opportunity to recognise the contributions of First Nations peoples in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait.
  • In August 2023 the Queensland Government appointed the First Nations Project Lead responsible for leading the delivery of the business cases for Brisbane and Cairns.

The full timeline for the progress to date can be found on this page.

The business cases will explore options to connect the Brisbane and Cairns based First Nations Cultural Centres with First Nations communities, Indigenous Art Centres and other significant sites and locations throughout Queensland.

This could potentially occur through a ‘hub and spoke’ model and could provide improved economic outcomes and jobs for First Nations peoples and enhanced tourism opportunities in regional areas.

It is anticipated that the key benefits of the First Nations Cultural Centres will be to:

  • Create greater recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures that heals the wounds of the past.
  • Provide exposure to new domestic and international art and tourist markets.
  • Be large scale authentic and educational Indigenous offerings that present the unique culture.
  • Enable collaboration with other jurisdictions.
  • Leverage Queensland’s competitive advantage as home to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

The purpose of the detailed business cases is to provide sufficient information to support an informed investment decision.

The business cases will also consider and confirm the service need, governance, operating and delivery models, the role, function and scale of the Centres, potential sites, curatorial frameworks and a cultural permission framework

The detailed business cases will:

  • reconfirm the service need and outcomes sought.
  • further develop site options, including environmental assessment, to provide a high level of confidence in the project deliverability, cost, functionality, and tenure requirements.
  • explore in detail the functions that the Centre will include for the preferred scale option.
  • develop a reference design and risk adjusted cost estimates.
  • investigate in detail the governance, operating, and delivery models for the Centre.
  • include financial and economic analyses.
  • describe indicative/potential funding arrangements.
  • provide a project implementation plan.
  • ensure assurance processes align to applicable assessment frameworks and approvals.
  • revisit, update, and expand the case for investment.

The detailed business cases will not consider the detailed design, construction, fit out, and operations of the First Nations Cultural Centre.

The Queensland Government commenced the process to engage a First Nations Project Lead following the commitment to develop a business case for a First Nations Cultural Centre in Cairns, and agreement to progress a First Nations Cultural Centre in Brisbane through the South-East Queensland (SEQ) City Deal.

Following a First Nations-led selection process, Ms Georgina Richters was appointed by the Department of Treaty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities, and the Arts as Project Lead to lead the development of the business cases for the First Nations Cultural Centres.

This appointment secured a highly experienced and respected First Nations person as Project Lead, with Ms Richters having significant expertise in delivering complex First Nations projects through her work at national, state, local and community levels for more than 25 years.

The announcement of the First Nations Project Lead can be found at: https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/98439

The detailed business cases will prioritise engagement with Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including the Brisbane and Cairns Traditional Owners. The business cases will be informed by evidence and best practice, and will reflect feedback provided by Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and key stakeholders, including but not limited to Tourism Bodies, Local Government, Government related entities, and Arts Statutory bodies.

Comprehensive targeted market sounding will be undertaken with key stakeholders including, but not limited to, Arts Statutory Bodies in Brisbane, industry representatives from art galleries, performing arts centres, cultural centres, museums, tourism bodies, and arts and cultural representative bodies, as well as all levels of Government and Government related entities.