Today Gundji Gindilan – meaning ‘joyful home’ – is officially opened and ready to welcome older members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
As part of the ACT Government’s commitment to provide more dedicated, long-term accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Gundji Gindilan is the second development following the opening of Mura Gunya in Kambah in 2016.
Gundji Gindilan has five units in a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom options, with the 3 bedrooms an added design feature to support the needs of this community who often provide caring assistance for family members.
The ACT Government has worked together with the ACT Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body to identify a suitable site and design a culturally sensitive development that meets the needs of tenants.
It has been really great to see this development progress through the uniquely cultural proceedings to prepare it for welcoming older community members.
Today’s official opening follows the smoking ceremony that was held in February this year and spreading of ashes in September. Spreading of ashes in the shared meeting and storytelling space ensures that the cleansing effect from the smoking ceremony is retained on site, providing future residents with ongoing cultural and healing benefits.
Construction of the third dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Older Persons’ development is scheduled to commence next year in Dickson. The development will comprise five two-bedroom homes designed by Steward Architecture, at an approximate cost of $2.5 million, and is expected to be completed in late 2021.
*All quotes attributable to Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Housing and Suburban Development*
As noted by Ms Katrina Fanning, Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body:
“The Elected Body have worked in partnership with the ACT Government to deliver this unique housing opportunity with design features that support our older community members who have caring responsibilities in a culturally appropriate way.”
“Delivering practical and sustainable solutions for our community is a priority for the Elected Body and these units illustrate what can be achieved when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are meaningfully engaged in decision making processes.”