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Murrook Culture Centre double finalist in heritage awards

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Murrook Culture Centre at Williamtown has been named a double finalist in the 2024 National Trust (NSW) Heritage Awards. 

The Port Stephens locale was shortlisted in two categories – Aboriginal Heritage and Education and Interpretation – for its recently-completed immersive digital interpretation project. 

The unique venture involves Elders personally welcoming visitors and shares intimate family stories and Worimi history. 

The bespoke and permanent digital exhibition and experience captures Country in its splendour, with large-scale interactive cultural stories immersing visitors in Worimi tradition and Gathang language. 

It has been chosen ahead of more than 50 rich and diverse heritage projects from across the state, with the annual awards celebrating outstanding practice recognising excellence in conservation of Aboriginal, built, natural and cultural heritage. 

“Our culture is living, and what is living? Living is movement, evolution, change by design, so now we can call ourselves Abodigitals instead of Aboriginals,” says Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC) CEO Andrew Smith. 

This year marks the 30th National Trust (NSW) Heritage Awards and will culminate in a ceremony event on Friday 17 May at Doltone House in Pyrmont. 

“The high quality of entries created robust discussions between the judges this year,” said Matthew Devine, chair of the National Trust Heritage Awards Jury.  

Mr Devine was joined on the panel by esteemed jurors Ann Toy, Barrina South, Dr Caitlin Allen, David Burdon, Kathryn Pitkin AM, Dr Libby Gallagher and Peter John Cantrill. 

Speaking specifically about Murrook Cultural Centre, the 2024 National Trust (NSW) Heritage Awards judging panel described the project as: “A very impressive and important self-funded project located right on the tourist trail. Strong local engagement and innovative use of technology has resulted in a truly immersive experience that allows Aboriginal people to tell their own stories.” 

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