Godinymayin (pronounced Godding-marn) by Cedric Fordimail – named after an old artist who lived in this area, on the southern approaches to Katherine.

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 25.07.12

The Katherine community in the NT now has access to an $8.6 million arts hub after the official opening of the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre last week.

NT Arts and Museums Minister, Gerry McCarthy joined with Federal Arts Minister, Simon Crean and Katherine's Lord Mayor to open the new facility. McCarthy said the opening would not have happened without the support of the community including local traditional owners, and support from all levels of government.

"The community has played a major role since 2001 in driving the development of a cultural precinct and this initiative has been strongly supported by the town council, Territory and Commonwealth governments," he said.

"The Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre is a real asset for the region and will act as a creative hub for families, local artists, cultural organisations and Indigenous Territorians."

Simon Crean said the project would showcase the wealth of arts and culture of the region. "The fusion of the oldest living culture on earth with the diversity of modern Australia is producing some of the most exciting forms of visual and performing arts," he claimed. "By creating a modern new facility for the development and presentation of the arts, this new centre will benefit artists of the region and generate flow-on economic benefits for Katherine.

"In recent days I have announced $48m for projects that support Indigenous arts, culture and languages. A strong sense of cultural identity is not only central to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, but also to their ability to contribute to the cultural life of our communities and our nation."

The precinct features a multi-purpose hall, an amphitheatre, a social function area, display spaces as well as public art and ample parking. The facility will have the capacity to cater for about 200 people at functions, and landscaping will include flora and fauna native to the Katherine region. Both the Northern Land Council, and the Indigenous Advisory Group have been involved in the selection of the site, the design and content of the building in order to achieve something that was culturally appropriate for the region.

Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre will be a meeting place that reflects the rich diversity of Jawoyn, Dagoman and Wardaman traditional owners and everyone living in the big rivers region.

The GYRACC has been lucky to attract Cath Bowdler to run it initially. Bowdler is an arts administrator, writer, curator and academic who has worked extensively with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and artists over the last 20 years. She has been Director of 24HR Art in Darwin, lecturer at Charles Darwin University, Director of Wagga Wagga Art Gallery and lecturer at Charles Sturt University.

Godinymayin, the cast iron rock wallaby that symbolises the new Centre, is the work of local artist, Cedric Fordimail and was made at the Urban Art Projects foundry in Brisbane following public art workshops in Katherine.

The Territory Government provided $4 million plus $500,000 in ongoing operational funding. The Australian Government contributed $3 million to the project under the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program. Katherine Town Council provided $1.64 million and $30,000 in annual funding.

A future addition should be a digital storage and conservation area, much needed by the region’s communities, who struggle to maintain appropriate storage and associated knowledge facilities in their own communities. Godinymayin will be an important place for supporting cultural maintenance and extending cultural awareness programs that could assist reconciliation and well-being.


Share this: » » Digg it » reddit » Google » StumbleUpon » Technorati » Facebook

Contact Details



Montage of the Opening events at the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre in Katherine


Further Research