Official Opening
Cultural Centre
Conservation and Environment Centre
Skills Development Centre
Indigenous Training Pathways ITP
Wellness Centre
Alcohol Liberation Pathway
Yarn Up Space

The Wiradjuri Study Centre (WSC) promotes the study and understanding of Wiradjuri culture. Important as this core aim is, the WCC has developed a wider notion of a WSC. According to this broader concept, the WSC is seen as the foundation for cultural rejuvenation, social change and sustainable self-determination by the Aboriginal people of the wider Wiradjuri nation. The result is a vibrant, independent, sustainable and self-determining Aboriginal community.

Through the WCC, the community has refused to take the 'sorry town' path and has decided to be proactive rather than a reactive.

The conceptual thinking behind the WSC is holistic in nature. It is a crucial vehicle through which the WCC constitutional objective of supporting its people comes to fruition. Through the WSC, there are activities which revitalise local Aboriginal culture, give meaning and substance to a Wiradjuri world view and foster new attitudes among local Aboriginal people toward learning and self esteem, from which comes the energy of local people to establish culturally appropriate, sustainable economic wealth-creating activities. In brief, this centre reflects a New Beginning for the Kalarie people of Condobolin.

The WSC is a pedagogical centre of learning. So, not only does it provide culturally appropriate learning, more importantly, it creates an environment that is culturally sensitive to the learning needs and aspirations of the local aboriginal people.

The WSC is an iconic centre for Aboriginal cultural understanding, learning, research, training and wellbeing. The process begins by the fact that the building has been constructed by teams of local Aboriginal people using materials they either have made (eg compressed earth blocks), or are local to the region (eg cypress timber), and all is consistent with sustainability and caring for country principles. It is accessible to interested non-Aboriginal students and visitors. With that end the WSC has the following components; Cultural Centre, Conservation and Environment Centre, Skills Development Centre, Indigenous Training, Wellness Centre, surrounding landscape and sporting facilities and a Yarn Up Space.



The attached slideshow mirrors the growth of the WSC with the guiding principles of "A New Beginning" established by the WCC.

Viewers will witness at first hand the wonderful work of the local Aboriginal Community, and be suitably impressed with the quality of the finished product and the intricate artwork within.

Official Opening

The Wiradjuri Study Centre was officially opened on Tuesday the 27th of September 2011 by the Honourable Kevin Rudd MP.

The ceremony was facilitated by Mr Jamie Newman-CEO of Orange Aboriginal Medical Services.

Speakers included:

Mr Harold Coe-Chairperson of Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation Ltd
Mr Stan Grant (OAM)-Senior Wiradjuri Elder Mayor
Mr Des Manwarring-Lachlan Shire Council
Mr Peter Geleta-GM Cowal Project
Ms Flo Grant-Chairperson Wiradjuri Council of Elders
Mr Percy Knight-CEO Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation.




The attached slideshow provides an excellent appreciation of a very successful opening.

Cultural Centre

Culture will heal us, for these people all have to cope with a very core issue that the Aboriginal world view is not yet accepted in Australia. A good step is for us to instigate culturally appropriate learning as a way to give our people a chance to be in a position to be self-determining in the future. We are indeed instigating a New Beginning!

The WCC has constructed the WSC with the express purpose of promoting the study and understanding of Wiradjuri Culture and will be a very important vehicle in this significant change.

Cultural Appreciation Training
WSC is committed to 'Closing The Gap' between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. In establishing a competitive advantage, the WSC provides a comprehensive Cultural Appreciation course that will assist the public, private and community sector organisations, to engage and interact with Indigenous Australians.

The topics include: Indigenous History, Indigenous Culture, Custom & Lifestyle, Diversity, Current Issues, Stolen Generation, The Apology, Native Title, Economic Reform, Health, Social and Emotional, Wellbeing, Engaging Individuals & Communities, Social Inclusion & Closing The Gap.

The WSC offers half, one or two day sessions, and tailors sessions to meet your organisational needs. For more information, please contact Clinton Scott-Knight.

Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation Heritage Company (WCCHC)
As a provision of the Ancilliary Deed the WCC established the Wiradjuri Condobolin Cultural Heritage Company (WCCHC) to implement the WCC management plan. The plan ensures that there is continuous monitoring and surveying of the land at the Lake Cowal Gold. It is also responsible for all cultural and heritage issues that arise not only at the mine but for the wider community.

· the company provides Cultural awareness training to all employees at the mine
· provides different work opportunities to elders group, young adults and young children
· highlight the Keeping Place, regional history and importance of culture
· maintain policy focus on employment first, training for employment second
· focus on environmental regeneration projects as a way to foster local knowledge
· engage local people with the WSC
· manage Yarn-up Space of WSC
· stronger, more resilient and harmonious community
· employment opportunities and future pathways


Language Hub
The WSC will be promoted as a langauge hub for the Wiradjuri language, the preservation, maintenance and teaching. If you are interested in participating in any part of the program, please contact us by phone or email.

Art Centre
The WSC will also be establishing an arts centre to promote local Wiradjuri artists. Please contact us if you are an artist or know of any artists that would be interested in exhibiting.

Conservation and Environment Centre

Caring for country in light of environmental challenges is high on our agenda, and we plan to do this by implementing several measures. We consider that the conservation and environmental centre, cultural centre and keeping place are very much culturally linked through natural resource management and preservation of cultural heritage artefacts and language.

Native provenance plantings are part of the many faceted learnings. In this case, the surrounds will facilitate learning about basic horticulture, environmental remediation and cultural issues to do with bush foods, medicines and colours for various objects.

The WSC aims to be carbon neutral and to this end will include recycled materials amongst its construction materials, plus the design will harvest rainwater, recycle grey water, and endeavour to produce enough energy to make money to put back into the grid through solar energy. We will also implement no-waste strategies including composting and native food production.

Barrick and the Claim Group have entered into a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) that governs the management of Wiradjuri Condobolin cultural places both in the project area and over Wiradjuri Condobolin Country as a whole. This ensures that the Claim Group can exercise their custodial responsibilities for cultural heritage in the context of the project proceeding as planned.

Barrick and its contractors must comply with the CHMP and Barrick must use its best endeavours to get third parties who deal with Barrick in relation to the Project, to adopt the principles contained in the CHMP.

The Claim Group must set up a cultural heritage company to provide cultural heritage services to Barrick and other companies within Wiradjuri Condobolin Country. In the Ancillary Deed this is called the CH Company. Barrick is providing funds for this to occur. Once the CH Company has been set up, the Claim Group is responsible for ensuring that the CH Company is able to operate without further financial assistance from Barrick, except when Barrick enters into contracts with the CH Company to carry out cultural heritage services for Barrick.

Barrick recognises that information and objects derived from cultural heritage management activities are the cultural property of Wiradjuri Condobolin people.

Barrick and the Claim Group will negotiate an agreement about the offset conditions contained in the Section 90 Consent (Clause 8.6 Ancillary Deed). This will cover:

· a keeping place owned by the Wiradjuri Condobolin people;
· a regional cultural heritage study and the associated research and publication of a booklet;
· a survey to document the whereabouts of Wiradjuri Condobolin objects taken from Wiradjuri Condobolin country and support for their return.

Skills Development Centre

The WSC Skills Development Centre contributes to the long term future of the Wiradjuri Aboriginal people of the local community in a number of ways. It's aim is to make learning come alive as it blends cultural practices, pedagogical innovation and the need for a wide range of employable skills. The building design, construction, fit out and landscaping are important elements of this goal.

The Skills Development Centre will assist in overcoming barriers to employment and encourage participation in nationally recognized vocational courses.

It aims to attract up to 1000 students per year in various courses and from a range of local, regional and national sources.

Mobile Learning Units
In the longer term, it is envisaged a series of associated external operating mobile learning units will be added to the site whereby courses can be taught and equipment stored, and new technologies will be put into place with the aim of facilitating effective new e-learning opportunities and wider contact with the world.

Mining
It is also proposed that the Skills Development centre become a school for the mining industry in NSW, wherein we take advantage of the large number of mining activities in the Wiradjuri country under the philosophy of linking employment to training. The Mining school would create a skill work force for the mining industry which will contribute to the Federal Government's commitment to 50,000 jobs under their employment covernance strategy.

Furniture Making
In partnership with Cabinet and Furniture Industry Association, and other Training providers, this is a potential business opportunity. The training will be undertaken in conjunction with TAFE, Condobolin High School, service providers and industry associations.

The accessibility and use of local selected timbers, pine and river red gum, are available and make the cost of this training minimal. The off-the-job training for both traineeships and apprenticeships is available through a number of TAFE Colleges and private training organisations.

The sustainability of our furniture business is the making of the river red gum furniture, coffee, dining, boardroom and dialogue tables and doors.

Indigenous Training Pathways ITP

The company was created to provide Indigenous people with an opportunity to gain a nationally accredited certification, permanent employment opportunities supported by a pre-employment job ready program, organisational cultural awareness training, development of a Personal and Professional Development Plan and a structured mentoring program.

ITP is focused on providing opportunities for public and private sector organisations to assist in increasing Indigenous labour force participation rates and in doing so, provides opportunities for Indigenous Australians to gain permanent and ongoing employment supported by professional education and training and a comprehensive, closely managed mentoring program.

The advancement of indigenous employment initiatives in Australia is crucial in bridging the gap between the participation of our indigenous workforce in the broader community.

ITP does not take a one size fits all approach and has the capacity to meet the business requirements of any organisation across numerous industry sectors.

Services

Recruitment - Advertising, Shortlisting & Selection

Job Ready Program - Facilitation of a Job Ready Program as a component of the selection process. Anywhere from a one to three week Job Ready Programs.

Training includes; Interview skills, Presentation and grooming, Cultural Awareness, Numeracy and literacy, Computer skills and Communication.

*Pre-Employment programs are tailored to meet organizational requirements.

Cultural Awareness Training - Facilitation of cultural awareness training for host employers. This is One full day of Cultural Awareness Training for all relevant staff members of host employer organisations.

Training includes; History, Indigenous culture and Cultural differences

Mentoring Program - Sourcing mentors, training mentors and matching up of mentors to trainees. There is definitely a targeted approach to sourcing Mentors, plus, all Mentors have to undertake Mentor training developed and delivered by ITP.

Training includes; Role of Mentors, Background of Trainees and Cultural Awareness.

Management Training for Supervisors - Training for Supervisors on managing Indigenous Trainees effectively. The Management Training course is for all staff members with supervisory responsibilities for an Indigenous Trainee.

Training includes; Cultural awareness, Traineeship Program objectives and Management techniques.

Wellness Centre

The driver for the WCC establishing a Wellness Centre is the emergence of a conceptually exciting ‘Alcohol Liberation Pathway’ (insert link to page), designed to get to the root of the ‘river of grog’ now flooding Aboriginal communities with disastrous effect. Very simply, this concept links cultural, social and economic issues to an individual’s circumstances, and requires a Centre through which connections to existing infrastructure can be professionally and sensitively facilitated and overseen in a case history more of operation.

Mostly in a practical way today, a clinical treatment model underpins attempts to deal with Aboriginal alcohol addiction.

The WCC recognises the need for its conceptual pathway for liberation from the abuse and misuse of alcohol to link up with existing clinical infrastructure.

However, after the first steps at a clinical level, subsequent steps involve working with the individuals on their alcohol addiction within cultural and social networks.

An Alcohol Liberation Pathway is for individuals suffering alcohol abuse and misuse and incorporates treatment within a sustained case management approach. Additionally, this pathway also encompasses an individual’s practical realities such as employment prospects and existing social relations. Issues of alcohol abuse and misuse are to be addressed in a culturally appropriate and holistic manner at an individual, family and community level.

WCC started with a vision based on regeneration of culture, holistic notions of wellness, employment identified before training and priority of self determination through:

· a youth leadership program
· a life skills through sports program
· a researched and innovative alcohol liberation pathway
· mentoring program
· links to Learning program
· widening the Circle social development program of workshops
· an elders program

Alcohol Liberation Pathway

A Social Holistic Intervention Model to Address Alcohol Abuse in the Wiradjuri Condobolin Community - University of Sydney - MAppSc - 2008

Percival Montgomery Knight

Today, more than one third (35.4%) of the Australian population consumes alcohol at levels that are risky or at a level of high risk of causing harm in the short term at least once a year (Strategy, 2006).

Alcohol consumption among Aboriginal people is also a very serious issue. Major government research of the last 25 years reporting on the status of Aboriginal health is consistent in its findings that alcohol misuse and abuse in Aboriginal communities continues to be a major health risk for Aboriginal people.

Alcohol misuse is both a consequence and a cause of disordered physical, social, emotional and spiritual functioning in Australian Indigenous communities. Alcoholism is an illness and sufferers achieve nothing while sick (Knight, 2004). Society needs to prevent and treat the disease of alcoholism and alcohol abuse before the full potential of the Aboriginal people and its community can be achieved. Yet despite the evidence showing the negative consequences on the family and the community of alcohol misuses and abuse, a major health risk continues. Indeed it appears that newly related problems are emerging, such as alcohol foetal syndrome.

But the ‘grog’ was never part of traditional Aboriginal culture. So what are possible solutions to this problem?

This study looked at the issue by studying the circumstances of an Aboriginal community in a small isolated town in central west NSW. The research went behind the statistics by using qualitative research techniques, particularly interviews and focus groups of the relevant stakeholders in the local community. This study premise arising from the apparent failure of previous approaches is that the problem of alcohol abuse and misuse must acknowledge the importance of the socio-economic circumstances of sufferers, such as employment status, housing circumstance, community environment and connection to culture. If significant improvement is to occur in the health status of Aboriginal people who misuse and abuse alcohol, it is essential these deeper underlying causes of addiction must be addressed and that a preventative, holistic (rather than a clinical curative) approach be adopted (Knight, 2004). The study results confirm this premise as being well founded.

Having confirmed the core problem by considering some of the results of the focus groups and interviews, the question them arises of how a holistic perspective might be applied practically? This study presents an ‘Alcohol Liberation Pathway’ as a model that takes up the challenge of providing a holistic sense of wellness and well-being to Indigenous people afflicted by alcohol abuse. The research included an investigation of responses a to such an approach and results strongly suggest such a model is an applicable one to implement as a away to address the core issue of alcohol abuse and misuse in Indigenous communities.

For a full copy of this thesis, please contact the University of Sydney

Yarn Up Space

An essential component of the WSC is the yarn-up space. This is a culturally sensitive design feature. It is a place where people can come and meet informally.

The aim is to foster stronger social capital as well as generate a closer link to the idea that learning is a matter of interest.

The yarn-up centre is to be a catalyst in generating a thirst for learning as well as be a community safety net.

The spaces above the Yarn-up centre will have materials reflecting the concept of upwardly moving spirits, both in terms of uplifting personal and community strength and also in terms of reflecting the idea of departing spirits finding there way back into the dream time. To support the spirit of the Wiradjuri people, the materials chosen are from the earth. The core material for this centre is locally made compressed earth brick, local cypress timber and various sustainability components, for example, tanks for rain water, grey water collection systems, green waste separation and compost.

The WCC would like to acknowledge this land that we will meet on is the traditional lands for Wiradjuri and Kalarie people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with the country. We also acknowledge the Wiradjuri and Kalarie people as the custodians of the Wiradjuri nation and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Wiradjuri and Kalarie people today.