North Stradbroke Island learning centre Minjerribah Ganaba opens in time for September holidays

CULTURE: Josh Walker at the Minjerribah Ganaba learning centre on North Stradbroke Island.
CULTURE: Josh Walker at the Minjerribah Ganaba learning centre on North Stradbroke Island.

CONSTRUCTION is complete on the new Indigenous learning centre, Minjerribah Ganaba (Place to Hear, Think and Understand) on North Stradbroke Island.

Skills Minister Shannon Fentiman said there was more demand for cultural tourism in Queensland than ever before.

"Along with the natural beauty of the island, Minjerribah's rich local culture is one of its biggest drawcards.

"This centre will be a hub for national and international students to learn more about Quandamooka culture and heritage, as well as for local residents to get the qualifications they need for a career in tourism, business, land management and other industries," Ms Fentiman said.

Work on the centre began in February this year with an upgrade of three buildings at the old Gumpi (Dunwich) secondary school campus.

Redlands MP Kim Richards said five site buildings were upgraded, including a commercial training kitchen, outdoor performance and learning spaces and a language centre.

OPEN: The Minjerribah Ganaba learning centre is open in time for the holidays.

OPEN: The Minjerribah Ganaba learning centre is open in time for the holidays.

"As Minjerribah transitions to a leading destination for cultural and eco-tourism, Minjerribah Ganaba is ensuring the island community, especially its young people and traditional owners, have an opportunity to train for meaningful careers that allow them to stay on country," Ms Richards said.

The first classes graduated earlier this year and planning is currently underway for the new set of course offerings.

QYAC Chief Executive Officer Cameron Costello said the centre would play an important role in preserving and rejuvenating Quandamooka culture, as well as fostering innovation and research.

"Minjerribah Ganaba will be a place to share our traditional stories and practices; our Elders will have a dedicated meeting room, our artists will have indoor and outdoor weaving areas and studios, our dancers, singers and musicians will have an outdoor ceremonial space and our archaeologist will have cultural heritage conservation, exhibition and storage spaces," he said.

Mr Costello said there would also be a Jandai language centre under the guidance of Elder Aunty Sandra Delaney and workshops to revive traditional Quandamooka carving of canoes and other art forms.

Capalaba MP Don Brown said QYAC is working closely with the Department of Employment, small business and training, Skilling Queensland and other leading registered training organisations and universities, including the University of Queensland, to develop and expand course offerings in the future.

"Minjerribah Ganaba will have a variety of flexible spaces that will also be available for hire including five large seminar rooms, commercial training kitchen, meeting spaces, amenities, indoor and outdoor workshop spaces and studios, and shared spaces for gathering and performance such as a covered outdoor ceremonial space and fire pit," he said.