Aboriginal Centre for Excellence

Project Overview

The NSW Government has made a commitment of $20 million to establish an Aboriginal Centre for Excellence (ACE) in Western Sydney.

The vision for the ACE is to enable young Aboriginal people to shape their own destiny, in a culturally strong and innovative space, excelling through opportunities arising in Western Sydney.

Western Sydney has the largest population of young Aboriginal people in Australia, and is also an area of significant government and corporate investment and economic growth.

Located at the old Whalan High School site, the ACE will provide space to harness young Aboriginal people’s aspirations to create the thinkers of today and the leaders of tomorrow.

The ACE is being established by Aboriginal Affairs NSW in partnership with the Aboriginal communities of Western Sydney.

The Location

The ACE will be located at Mimika Avenue, Whalan, the old Whalan High School site. The location for the ACE was identified by community members during the initial consultations carried out by Aden Ridgeway and his team from Cox Inall Ridgeway for Aboriginal Affairs.

Working in Partnership

One of the guiding principles for the creation of the ACE is working in partnership, a co-design relationship, where the relationship is genuine and meaningful to Aboriginal community members and where accountabilities are clear.

This partnership is being realised by the formation of the Project Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC is made up of ten young Aboriginal people aging from 17 -28 who have varying skills and knowledge which has created a very dynamic group.

Through the PAC the ACE is gathering Aboriginal communities’ advice on all aspects of the ACE through community open days, focus testing in small groups, talking to family, Aboriginal Elders, friends and workmates.

Next steps for the ACE

  • Ongoing conversations between the PAC, the ACE team and community members
  • Talking to the business and corporate sector about partnerships
  • Contracting an Aboriginal owned construction company to do the refurbishment of the buildings that the Aboriginal Centre for Excellence will be located in
  • Physical transformation of the ACE site into an innovative and contemporary place
  • Establishment of a new Aboriginal community controlled organisation to provide direction for the management of the ACE
  • The ACE being open for business from 30 November 2018

Get involved with the ACE

When the ACE was first announced the NSW Government intended that the ACE will eventually be a community controlled organisiation, which will meet the needs and aspiration of Aboriginal young people of Western Sydney and their families

Participation by community members is important and will be continually sought throughout the project. This will be done through various ways including community open days, meeting with specific groups and organisations, using social media such as facebook and running surveys, either face to face or online.

For more information, questions or to comment, you can contact us at: WSACE@aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au.


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