This community hub will be a stimulating, recreational and learning space, housing a library with books, magazines, DVDs, music and games, public access computers with Internet and free training programs for all ages. A supervised homework club will be run in the Centre after school for high school students attending Cooktown High School. Other existing community groups will also benefit from the proposed new resources.
Cr June Pearson said “By developing the skills of the local people to take advantage of the information and learning opportunities available through the Internet, we can help overcome some of the disadvantages Indigenous people experience living in remote locations. The Centre will provide the resources for people to develop their own interest areas whether it is art, music, sport, higher education or business”.
The Centre will provide employment for Hope Vale residents with the Centre Co-ordinator receiving mentoring and training from the State Library and opportunities to attend professional development sessions in Brisbane.
Arts Minister Rod Welford said the State Library currently supports 16 Indigenous Knowledge Centres, primarily in the Cape York Peninsula and Torres Strait regions. “These Centres are valuable assets for our Indigenous communities. They provide both traditional library services as well as a means and a place to capture and preserve local history and traditions,” Minister Welford said. “No doubt this will be a welcome addition to the Hope Vale community,” he said. Lindy Nelson-Carr, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, congratulated Mayor Greg McLean and councillors, Bob Magid and the other parties in developing this partnership. “This is a great initiative for HopeVale, creating opportunities and strengthening connections to the world beyond. There is an exciting future ahead as more Indigenous communities, the private sector and public sectors partner in this way”, said the Minister.
Ralph Gatt, the Division Manager of Sydney ITeC Repair Centre will personally provide the first technology training event in the new centre in April. Ralph will teach young people in Hope Vale how to build and repair computers, as well as how to film and edit their own movies. To facilitate Internet access WorkVentures has donated 10 refurbished computers and networking equipment to the new centre.
Cr Shirley Costello said the Council will soon be launching its own website, which will provide information about the history of Hope Vale, its cultural and natural heritage, including information on the different clans. It will also function as a community noticeboard. Frost Design, a Sydney based company, will assist in the website design.As soon as the weather clears, the centre will be decorated by local artists. Computers and other resources will be unpacked for the planned opening soon after.
Cr Des Bowen said the Council has worked on the project for two years and it was a great example of a partnership of local people, business and government combining to develop an exciting facility for the Hope Vale community. The partners include philanthropist Bob Magid from the DOT.COM.MOB, the State Library of Queensland, Dept of Communities (DoCs) and D.E.S.T, SJB Architects and WorkVentures.