YIRRKALA HEALING CENTRE
Submitted 2011 – on hold
In a remote far northern corner of Arhnem Land sits the township of Yirrkala. Local dreaming believes Yirrkala is the seedbed for all indigenous Australians, with the first people arriving to this place from across the ocean. In the north West corner of Yirrkala township lies a lagoon. On one side is a sacred men’s site, on the other, sacred women’s place and in between an ancient Banyan tree.
The local community requested a “healing centre”, to practice and prepare local medicines; a place to invite travelling western medical practitioners, and a place of respite for troubled youth. The buildings needed to be simple, robust and practical. Due to funding constraints the project had to be planned in stages.
The design centres the main healing centre around the banyan tree with clearly defined Men and Women areas. Facing away towards the lagoon a quiet place houses 2 retro-fitted demountable buildings for troubled male youths. New covered decks provide group dining and meeting areas. A third building provides simple bedrooms and shared kitchen facilities for visiting medical practitioners . All buildings are designed for cyclone conditions, located well above ground, with double roof systems to encourage cooling of the buildings and protection from the monsoon rain.
The project was presented and discussed with the community with feedback and adjustments.At present the project is on hold due to changes in community leadership and direction.
VALUE OF PROJECT:
Funding body: Aboriginal Benefits Foundation
Client community: Yirrkala Community
Cultural: Jennifer Isaacs
Structural: Irwin consulting
Client and community: Yirrkala Community