Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre
Hopevale is a community of 1,500 people, who are mainly members of the local Guugu Yimithirr Tribe but also have migrated from other parts of Queensland.
Situated 48kms North West of Cooktown, in a beautiful valley, Hopevale is surrounded by tropical native bushland and mountain ranges. It is abundant in ancient caves, painted for thousands of years by the Guugu Yimithirr people.
Established in July 2008, the Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre provides a community space for enhanced learning, capacity building and strengthened cultural identity. With a range of training and informal learning activities, the centre helps community members to overcome barriers to learning and develops the ability of individuals to participate in the social and working life of the community.
The centre is at the heart of community activity and is frequently accessed by a wide range of community members. On average 50 to 60 community members access the centre daily. This provides a hub for community engagement - from a meeting space for Elders, to a way to engage young people that are unable to attend high school in Cooktown. Activities range from accessing the Internet and reading books to recording community history and culture.
Some key achievements in the centre’s first year include the establishment of a Hope Vale YouTube channel, a Hope Vale Wiki, and an Indigenous Knowledge Centre blog; providing an avenue for Elders to preserve their culture through recording life stories, language and history; and supported learning through the establishment of a homework club.
A particular focus is to affirm and strengthen Aboriginal cultural identity as a vital source of individual and community cohesion and pride. Much of the success of the centre must be contributed to the efforts of Shirley Costello, the Centre’s Coordinator, and the support of the Hope Vale Council.
The centre was established in July 2008 in collaboration with SJB Architects, Work Ventures and the AMP Foundation. The State Library of Queensland provided learning resources and furniture for the centre, and provides very valuable ongoing support through staff training and program delivery. The Qld Department of Communities provided funds for the first year of operations. Ongoing funding is required for the operation of the centre.