Wadeye Cultural Hub - Day 5
It was a busy day on site; two concrete pours, and the arrival of Stewart and Astrid from ARUP, and Lyndon Ormond-Parker. The pavilion is starting to take shape into the media cultural hub of Wadeye and there is lots of keen community interest.
Due to the long weekend and it being Friday, only a few of the CDP local work team attended in the morning, helping us to power through the concrete pour and fixing the sheet metal to the roof of the men's pavilion. Because of the public holiday, we also had a final delivery of fresh concrete to the site this morning as well as an aggregate and cement delivery so that we can mix on site over the coming days.
We formed up a long retaining wall along the southern face of the pavilion which will block the drainage of water from the roof coming into the pavilion as well as provide more seating along the perimeter. Another bench was also formed facing onto the street and both of these will be poured tomorrow.
A couple of us bumped into a local TDC employee yesterday, the husband of Kathy - the manager of the arts centre/Palngun Wurnangat Womens Centre of Wadeye and we organised to meet a few of the ladies from the centre. We visited during the late morning and briefed them on the current construction in the pavilion and sought ideas for the design of the cultural precinct. We organised a meeting for next tuesday to give everyone a bit of time to think about and discuss ideas with friends and family about important things they would like to be included and considered.
During our visit, Kathy told us that the women's centre was in the process of slowly transitioning to an ‘Arts Centre’, inclusive of both men and women in the community. However, it was still evident through discussions with the ladies and Kathy that the women's centre is still an important point of refuge for the women from a range of clans and families in the community.
It was also interesting to note the women's role and feelings about the current and ongoing unsettled atmosphere in the Wadeye community. There was a strong feeling that the removal of the club and alcohol from the community was a good decision.
After a long and productive day on site we packed up and finished off the day with a refreshing cyclone icy-pole - which we were told was a local favourite.
Sasha Briner and Hannah Willoughby Pearson