The Andrews Labor Government is promoting Aboriginal cultural heritage in the Wodonga region with the completion of the redeveloped Burraja Cultural and Environmental Centre.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes today visited the Wodonga Gateway Island cultural precinct to tour the centre, which has been supported by a $430,000 grant from the Regional Infrastructure Fund.

The centre is owned by the Wodonga City Council and managed by members of local Aboriginal communities who host cultural and environmental education programs, along with skills development and leadership training for local Aboriginal people.

The recently completed refurbishment includes renovating the existing centre with redesigned cultural displays and the development of new walking trails around the site.

Locals and visitors to the region will now be able to use the centre more often with extra space for meetings and events such as NAIDOC week, boosting tourism, education, employment and business development opportunities within the Aboriginal community.

The Centre was established in 2002 with support from a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation. It is operated by the Burraja Committee of Management which delivers training, skills and education for Aboriginals and is aiming to turn the site into a full-time skills education business.

The committee provides cultural programs about topics including land care and Aboriginal heritage to schools, government agencies and private businesses.

The Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and Wodonga Koorie Youth Network also consider the centre as a key space for Aboriginal communities to come together and connect with their elders and each other.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund is part of the Government’s flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which helps businesses create more jobs in regional Victoria, supports community projects and helps councils to build the infrastructure locals need.

The Fund is key to the Government’s almost $30 billion investment across regional and rural Victoria since 2015. Information about the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund is available at rdv.vic.gov.au/rjif.

Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

This project is integral to supporting Aboriginal people in Wodonga and also gives visitors more opportunities to understand the history of this iconic part of Victoria and an important part of our cultural heritage.”

“The Regional Infrastructure Fund is all about supporting our regions to thrive and prosper and our investment in the Burraja Cultural and Environmental Centre is doing just that by helping our communities to learn and grow.”