Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre set for major upgrade

NT Government

Plans to upgrade Tennant Creek’s Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre (NNACC) have progressed, with the awarding of a $7.1 million construction tender to a joint venture between Territory companies ANT Galactic and M&J Builders.

Established in 2003 on the sacred site of the Nyinkka (spiny-tailed goanna), NNACC features a retail gallery; art production, exhibition, and performance spaces; and a museum and café.

Designed by Susan Dugdale and Associates and Freeman Ryan Design in consultation with the Board of Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation, Traditional Owners, and the NNACC Steering Committee; the new-look centre will include multi-sensory exhibitions featuring the Nyinkka, and a truth-telling exhibition that shares Warumungu perspectives and personal accounts of Australia’s past.

Works will also include:

a new exhibition space incorporating technology to immerse visitors in Warumungu country, culture, stories and song;museum and exhibition areas that showcase important traditional cultural objects and practices, and the dynamic contemporary art of Warumungu artists and the Barkly region;an upgraded retail space to sell local artworks, merchandise and souvenirs;walkways, a new outside loop path, and a viewing platform for the sacred site supported by cultural interpretation signage in Warumungu and English;landscape design featuring native plantings important to Warumungu Country; andmen and women’s performance area for arts and cultural performances, festivals and events.

The Warumungu NNACC Steering Committee members are currently working on the repatriation of cultural objects to the community, some of which will be on display at the upgraded centre to educate people on cultural practices, and to continue the maintenance and passing-on of cultural knowledge and skills.

The NNACC project is supported by the Northern Territory Government’s $30 million Arts Trail Gallery Extension Program towards a sustainable Aboriginal art and culture sector, which also includes upgrades to art centres in Arnhem Land and Katherine.

Works at Nyinkka Nyunyu are expected to be completed by July 2025.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chansey Paech:

“This construction tender for upgrades to Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre is a major development in this project, and an important investment in the Territory’s creative industries and Aboriginal art sector.

“The Territory Labor Government’s investment will not only transform Nyinkka Nyunyu’s facilities so they can showcase the art and culture of the region, it will also be a job-creating boost for the Tennant Creek community.

“The refurbishment will ensure Warumungu culture, history and arts practices are maintained so they can be shared with the local community and visitors.

“Thanks to the JCAC Board, staff and Nyinkka Nyunyu steering committee for their ongoing cultural leadership and commitment to the development of NNACC.”

/Public Release. View in full here.