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Flagship Tennant Creek tourist attraction set for $10 million upgrade

Joseph Guenzler -

A construction tender will be released for Tennant Creek's main tourist attraction next week, the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre (NNACC).

It comes after Northern Territory Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles, presented concept designs to the Warumungu owners of NNACC on Thursday.

The NT Government is investing $10 million in transforming NNACC as part of its Arts Trail initiative.

Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation Chair Linda Turner noted the immense efforts required to make the vision come to life.

"The steering committee has worked hard with the architects Susan Dugdale and Associates and Freeman Ryan Design; and the project team to develop the designs for the upgrades and create the new immersive exhibition experiences to achieve our vision for the centre," she said.

The initiative aims to make the Northern Territory a top-notch tourist and cultural destination.

NNACC holds great importance in the community, serving as a crucial gathering place and educational centre for the Warumungu people of the Barkly region.

"Regional galleries like Nyinkka Nyunyu showcase the Territory's unique Aboriginal art and culture," Mrs Fyles said.

"Upgrades to this facility are part of the Territory Labor Government's $30 million Gallery Extension Program that is delivering jobs and economic growth through construction and tourism.

"Since 2003, Nyinkka Nyunyu has been the arts, culture, and social hub of Tennant Creek and our $10 million investment will modernise the precinct and provide the perfect platform to further showcase the region's Aboriginal art, culture, and stories."

The Centre is located near the sacred site of the ancestral nyinkka, which is a type of spiny-tailed goanna.

A concept image of the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre entrance. (Image: Supplied)

Plans for upgrades at NNACC - created by Alice Springs architects, Sue Dugdale & Associates and Freeman Ryan Design include:

a new exhibition space incorporating technology to capture visitors' imaginations, drawing them back to times when the nyinkka forged tracks through the landscape.

truth telling exhibition from a Warumungu perspective of Australia's collective past, the history of contact and its impacts on Warumungu land, culture and people.

museum and exhibition space that showcases important traditional cultural objects and practices, along with the dynamic contemporary art of Warumungu artists and the Barkly region.

a new café and art gallery retail space featuring a story corridor that leads visitors onto the site.

commercial kitchen, flexible spaces for meetings and events, and outdoor sitting decks with views across the site in the cultural centre.

new outside loop path, walkways, and a viewing platform for the sacred site supported by cultural interpretation signage in Warumungu and English.

landscaped design featuring local native plants including bush foods; and performance areas for arts and cultural performances, festivals and events.

A concept image of the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre. (Image: Supplied)

The project is led by the NNACC steering committee and Traditional Owners in consultation with the Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation Board, staff and stakeholders.

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chanston Paech is excited after the announcement was made.

"We have worked closely with local Warumungu Traditional Owners and the Julalikari Council to develop purpose-designed spaces which will enhance existing features of the precinct," he said.

"The design ensures the protection and respectful access to the sacred site of the nyinkka around which the facilities are built."

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