The Territory Labor Government is supporting the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to establish a presence in Alice Springs that includes a partnership with First Nations Media Australia (FNMA).
Two vacant retail premises in the Todd Mall are set to be transformed into an access and community engagement office that will include an exhibition space to make collections held by AIATSIS more widely accessible to the public.
The centre will also feature an area dedicated to the protection and preservation of historical collections. State-of-the-art electronic digitisation and information storage equipment will enable the compilation of a cultural heritage compendium.
Based in Canberra, AIATSIS houses a collection of films, photographs, audio recordings, art, artefacts, and resource materials that tell the story of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Visitors to the Alice Springs centre will be able to access the same digitised collections that are currently exclusively available at the AIATSIS Reading Room in the ACT.
Central Australian locals employed at the centre will receive archives and records management training.
The Territory Labor Government is contributing $250,000 per annum for five years towards the facility. AIATSIS has committed $14 million over five years, including establishment, capital investment, and operations while Yeperenye, the owner of the building on the corner of Parsons Street and the Todd Mall, has planned a $1 million capital spend to refurbish and refit the space.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chansey Paech:
“The Territory Labor Government is proud to announce the establishment of the access and community engagement office that will safeguard and promote our cultural heritage.
“This facility will be a welcome addition to the thriving Alice Springs CBD and will provide an interactive, engaging space for cultural knowledge that will build on other cultural experiences in the town such as the Strehlow Research Centre and the Araluen Arts Centre.
“This investment will stimulate the Alice Springs economy and create jobs and training opportunities for locals in line with our CBD revitalisation and Activate Alice strategies.”