The Keeping Place & Business Centre redresses corrosive colonial actions by re-homing ‘stolen’ cultural artefacts and supporting an on-going Gunditjmara economic future. Gunditjmara have occupied the area around Tae Rak (Lake Condah) for millennia with many eventually ‘re-homed’
in the former Lake Condah Mission, where this project is located. The Lake Condah possum skin cloak, ‘collected’ in 1872 and displayed in the Melbourne Museum is the focus of the cultural repository. These cloaks provided weather protection but were also intimately linked with a person’s life story and connection to Country, recorded in designs on the cloak. The museum-grade repository also houses spears, recently excavated stone tools and eel traps.
The design of the Keeping Place promotes connection to Country through the use of the circular plan and the domed roof, together with volcanic rock and timber, all traditional forms and materials of the Gunditjmara, which provide a story-telling link with the possum skin cloak. The project continues Gunditjmara care of Country, being self-sufficient, independent of all power and water needs.
Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation Inc. RNTBC
PM Design (all disciplines)
Viesturs Cielens design
CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT PLAN
Context in Association with Extent Heritage Advisors
Terry Hope Photography