Our Worsley Alumina operation has committed A$2 million over two years to support the creation of a new Aboriginal cultural centre that will preserve and showcase the rich history of the Noongar people of the Peel and South West regions of Western Australia.
The funding will be used to start detailed planning for the cultural centre, which will showcase local artefacts, detail the long history of the Gnaala Karla Booja region and its people, and create economic opportunities for Aboriginal people.
The Gnaala Karla Booja region covers more than 30,000 square kilometres of land in Western Australia and encompasses the towns of Boddington, Collie, Bunbury, Mandurah, Narrogin and Williams, among others. The region is home to the Wilman people of the Noongar nation, one of the largest Aboriginal cultural blocks in Australia, having lived in WA’s South West for more than 45,000 years.
The Worsley team will work closely with Traditional Owners and other key stakeholders as the cultural centre is developed, to ensure that it respectfully and accurately reflects the traditions and ambitions of Aboriginal community members.
Worsley Alumina Vice President Operations Noel Pillay said: “South32 Worsley Alumina is excited to launch this partnership and work with Traditional Owners to create a cultural centre which will tell the rich and meaningful stories of the region and its people. We are commited to working with Traditional Owners to build mutually beneficial relationships and create new opportunities for Aboriginal people.”
James Khan, a Traditional Owner of the Wilman people of the Noongar nation said: “This investment from South32 Worsley Alumina represents a fantastic opportunity for the Wilman people of the Noongar nation to preserve our culture and create a sustainable business and community asset for the future. We look forward to working in partnership to make the project a reality.”
Ongoing engagement with Traditional Owners and other key stakeholders will help develop and refine the plans for the cultural centre, including where in the Peel or South West regions the centre may be located.
Announced during NAIDOC Week 2021, this initiative builds on our South32 Innovate Reconciliation Plan.