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Fresh start for Aboriginal Centre for Excellence as site cleansed in smoking ceremony

26-Jul-2018

A smoking ceremony will be held on Friday 27 July 2018 to cleanse the site where the brand new Aboriginal Centre for Excellence (ACE) will be developed. The $20 million ACE will support young Aboriginal people from Western Sydney to successfully transition from school to further education or training.

Construction of the ACE will be completed later this year with the centre officially launching on 30 November 2018. The successful tenderer to undertake this work is PSG Holdings, one of Australia’s largest Aboriginal owned construction companies which is aiming to achieve 50% direct employment of Aboriginal people.

The ACE will eventually be an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation designed in partnership with Aboriginal community members for Aboriginal community members. Significantly, Friday’s smoking ceremony will be used to acknowledge ancestors and pay respect while cleansing the site and providing blessings for its future.

“I am thrilled to be part of the development of the Aboriginal Centre for Excellence,” says Jason Ardler PSM, Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW. “The centre is underpinned by the OCHRE Strategy, which commits to doing things with Aboriginal communities – not for or to Aboriginal communities.”

“OCHRE stands for ‘Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment’ and inspiring Aboriginal people to embrace these qualities when planning their pathways to success is really what the Centre is all about.

As ‘Healing’ is a major component of the OCHRE Strategy, the smoking ceremony taking place today is important as it will allow us to start afresh.”

Participation by community members is central to the project and will be continually sought throughout the development of ACE through community open days, meeting with specific groups and organisations, social media and surveys.

Media Opportunity
Date: Friday 27 July 2018
Time: 11AM
Where: The site of the upcoming Aboriginal Centre for Excellence 1 Mimika Avenue, Whalan 2770

Media Contact
Sophie Winton | Aboriginal Affairs NSW | 0437 052 552

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