17th International Architecture Exhibition Venice Biennale

The Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre project co-designed by University of Sydney Architecture Lecturer Michael Mossman is currently on exhibition as part of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale Australian Pavilion, Inbetween.

Inbetween presents a series of architectural works from Australia and across the Pacific region that strengthens cultural understanding between non-Indigenous and First Nations people. Selected projects powerfully demonstrate the capacity of architecture to revive and enhance Indigenous voice, identity, and culture.

The Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre based in Gunnedah on the land of the Kamilaroi Nation was designed during Mr Mossman’s time working as an architect in practice at the New South Wales Government Architects Office.

Working with architects Cathy Kubany and Dillon Kombumerri, the design was a collaboration with the local Aboriginal community of Gunnedah through the leadership of centre manager and local Elder Wayne Griffith.

Winanga-Li,  which is already creating a legacy around the value of Indigenous ways and culture through a co-authored design of placemaking through architecture,  was selected as part of the Australian Pavilion exhibition and featured in the virtual presentation.

Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre is a space for the local Aboriginal community to express culture and for future generations of young minds to excel in a bespoke learning environment.

"The architecture facilitates this expression and is also an invitation to the non-Indigenous community of the Gunnedah area to celebrate the cultures, practices and histories of place, of Country."

The project infuses the themes of Inbetween - to privilege the richness of Country, First Nations cultures and its interwoven interactions with non-Indigenous systems to facilitate meaningful conversations in architecture.

The project’s exhibition comes at a time for Mr Mossman as he has just completed his Doctor of Philosophy and is looking forward to the future of architectural practice.

"We have infinite opportunities to reach out to each other-across cultural differences-tell truths that reveal existing commonalities and create new ones. I’m a firm believer in cultures and practices coming together and think this can only make our placemaking practices stronger."

The Indigenous community of Yarrabah in far north Queensland was the focus of architecture students who were given the unique opportunity to work with community leaders on an affordable housing project.

University of Sydney academics Michael Mossman, Nicole Watson, Emma Walke and Katrina Thorpe, and student, Liam Coe have been honoured with nominations for the National Dreamtime Awards 2018.

For First Nations cultures of Australia, we are a collective of hundreds of countries, rich with connection to the earth. A new installation explores this understanding - a distinct approach that aims for meaningful cultural and knowledge exchange.


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