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2015: Announcement

  • Premier Mike Baird announces a $20 million commitment to build a centre for excellence for young Aboriginal people in Western Sydney to support their transition from school to employment and/or further study.
  • The project is given the working title of Aboriginal Centre for Excellence.
  • The NSW Government commits the funding to ensure Aboriginal people, their families and communities, are at the forefront of economic development in Western Sydney.
  • Aboriginal Affairs NSW commences managing the project deciding its programs and services should predominately cater for young Aboriginal people, as over 60 per cent of the Aboriginal population of Western Sydney are under 24 years of age.

2015 – 2016: Community consultations

  • Aboriginal Affairs NSW holds a series of community consultations including a large workshop at Rooty Hill and smaller group meetings with school students, university students and community members.

2016 -2017: Procurement

  • Aboriginal Affairs NSW conducts a comprehensive, two-stage competitive procurement process which did not identify a suitable external provider to manage the refurbishment of the site chosen to house the project – the former Whalan High School.
  • The procurement process was commercial-in-confidence, and curbs Aboriginal Affairs NSW ability to speak publicly about the project.

2017 – 2019: Establishment phase

  • In December 2017, a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) was formed to ensure the needs of young Aboriginal people living in Western Sydney are represented.
  • Kevin O’Brien is contracted to design Kimberwalli's refurbishment. Kevin is a highly qualified and award-winning architect with over 20 years’ experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In March, a Community Open Day is held to share information with Aboriginal community members, local organisations and stakeholders.
  • In June, community focus groups were facilitated by PAC members. Aboriginal Affairs NSW commences meetings with potential partners and stakeholders.
  • In July, a NAIDOC Week community day is held on the grounds of Whalan High School.
  • On the 9 July, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces Pacific Services Group (PSG) won the tender to refurbish the former Whalan high school.
  • On 27 July 2018, a smoking ceremony is held on the school grounds to mark the beginning of construction.
  • On 30 November, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Sarah Mitchell announces ‘Kimberwalli’ meaning ‘many stars’ in Darug language will replace the working title of Aboriginal Centre for Excellence.
  • Kimberwalli sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft and LinkedIn. The terms of the agreement includes Microsoft and LinkedIn developing digital skills resources for young Aboriginal people, and assisting with the set-up of the centre’s technology requirements.
  • Kimberwalli hosts a range of events and pilot programs to test facilities including Changefest, a national conversation and celebration about place based social change.
  • By the end of 2019, Kimberwalli’s centre staff will commence and a graduation will be held for Kimberwalli’s first cohort of program participants.

2020: Getting ready for the official launch!

  • A soft launch took place in early 2020 with Kimberwalli opening its doors to select partners to test the centres functionality. An official launch is planned to take place later in the year

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