An open amphitheatre, a cultural tourism base and a community hub are among the elements of a master plan for the redevelopment of Willum Warrain in Hastings.
“The master plan sets the vision and direction for a renewed gathering place,” said Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Despi O’Connor. “Cultural opportunities will be created which will allow the rekindling of cultural practices and traditional knowledge. This is vital for Willum Warrain as the area grows.” Cr Kerri McCafferty said: “The new design concepts for the gathering place will offer amazing opportunities to engage with our First Nations People and culture and support them into the future.”
In a statement the Shire said: “Our Peninsula is one of the fastest growing Aboriginal areas in Victoria, with a 34 per cent increase especially in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under the age of 30. With an increase in population and interest in the site, Willum Warrain has now outgrown its facilities. Future projections show in five years there will be over 10,000 visitors per year and local membership will increase to 3000 people.
“The plan aims to create an open amphitheatre for large gatherings, artefacts and art display area, a dedicated Elders area, a welcome and yarning area, and a base for cultural tourism. Details in the plan also include expanding the wetlands to Warringine Park for a wildlife corridor to encourage the movement of animals, a dedicated outdoors men-only area to fit a Men’s Shed storage, and a carport for the community buses. The development of the community hub at the site will include a café, industrial kitchen, a bush nursery, shop, and a large vegetable garden. Cultural events, tours and On Country experiences will also be a feature of future development. For First Nations People, it’s important to maintain and strengthen their spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands and waters to uphold their responsibilities to Country, ancestors, community, and future generations.”
The plan has been created by the Shire in partnership with Jaffe Consulting Pty Ltd and Peter Wright Architects and is open for public comment until Tuesday, June 22.