South Australia’s reputation as a leader in Indigenous tourism has been further boosted by today’s official opening of the Pomberuk Cultural Centre in Murray Bridge.
The centre, opened by Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith, is located in the historic Old Pumphouse building on the banks of the Murray River and has been designed to showcase the arts, food and culture of the local Ngarrindjeri community.
“Forty per cent of international visitors to Australia take part in Aboriginal tourism activities, and Adelaide is already home to amazing cultural experiences such as the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute and the South Australian Museum’s Aboriginal Cultures Gallery,” she says.
“New developments like Pomberuk extend these experiences beyond the city, helping to build this important market and making South Australia a great destination for tourists looking to learn about Australia’s fascinating Aboriginal heritage.”
The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) purchased the land and infrastructure in 2002 to provide cultural benefits and has since supported the project with development on the property. ILC Chairperson Shirley McPherson says she is excited to see Pomberuk come to fruition.
“The Pumphouse is situated on land that is very significant to the Ngarrindjeri people, so this development achieves both important cultural benefits and creates a fantastic opportunity for local Aboriginal people to participate in the tourism industry,” Ms McPherson says.
“The ground floor of the new centre houses an exhibition of museum artefacts telling the Ngarrindjeri story as well as a gallery area, artists in residence and a theatrette. Traditional dance performances and Dreaming river cruises will also be available outside, making Pomberuk a truly unique Aboriginal cultural experience.”
Pomberuk has been created through partnerships between the Tangglun Piltengi Yunti Aboriginal Corporation and a number of Local, State and Commonwealth Government Agencies. These partnerships will continue through the final phase of the project, which includes development of an outside stage area for traditional cultural dance performances.
“Through a partnership with local business Cottage Box Chocolates, the first floor of the Pumphouse has also been transformed into the Pomberuk Bush Tucker Bistro and Gift Gallery,” Minister Lomax-Smith says.
“Cottage Box will manage this area, working closely with the local Aboriginal people to ensure a strong focus on bush tucker food and unique bush chocolates. Cottage Box also plan to build a chocolate factory on site where visitors will be invited to tour the chocolate-making facilities and sample hand-made chocolates.
“The completed Pomberuk Cultural Centre will be a boon for the Murray Bridge community, providing training and employment opportunities for young Indigenous people as well as a fantastic new destination for visitors looking for a unique Aboriginal cultural experience.”
Contact: Peter Keough, (08) 8100 7106, 0409 090 852