2015: The ACE announced
- The ACE was first announced by former Premier Mike Baird in 2015, who committed $20 million to its development.
- The idea came about to support one of the NSW Government’s key aims, which is to ensure that Aboriginal people, their families and communities are at the forefront of economic development in Western Sydney.
- With over 60% of the Aboriginal population of Western Sydney being under the age of 24, it was decided that a focus of the Centre should be on young people.
2015 – 2016: Community consultations
- Community consultations were held during this time which included a large workshop at Rooty Hill, smaller group meetings with school students and university students and other groups.
2016 -2017: Procurement
- The ACE team went through a comprehensive, two-stage competitive procurement process which investigated several different options for the establishment phase without identifying a suitable external provider to manage this process.
- The procurement process was commercial-in-confidence, and it curbed Aboriginal Affair’s ability to speak publicly about the project.
2016 – 2017: Establishment phase
- The ACE will eventually be a community controlled organisation, but in the interim, it is being set up by Aboriginal Affairs NSW and working with Aden Ridgeway and his team on the establishment of the ACE.
- In December 2017, the Project Advisory Committee was formed to guide the establishment phase making sure it is attuned to their needs and those of the diverse Aboriginal communities in Western Sydney.
- Kevin O’Brien is the architect that has developed the plans and will manage the refurbishment of the ACE at the Whalan site. Kevin is a highly qualified and award-winning architect with over 20 years’ experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across Australia.
2018: Getting ready for launch!
- March 2018: Community Open Day held to share information with Aboriginal community members, local organisations and interested stakeholders on the ACE developments to date.
- June 2018 - Focus group workshops facilitated by PAC members.
- June 2018 onwards - Meetings with potential partners and stakeholders.
- July 2018: NAIDOC Week family fun day held to celebrate NAIDOC Week and to engage with local community members.
- 9 July 2018: Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces Pacific Services Group (PSG) was the successful tenderer to build the Aboriginal Centre for Excellence.
- 27 July: Smoking ceremony and the beginning of contrstruction.
- 30 November 2018: ACE launched!