Adequate funding to ensure the continued operation of the Bangarang Cultural Centre was placed firmly on the agenda by Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell in State Parliament recently.
Speaking during an adjournment debate, Ms Lovell sought a commitment from Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins to commit adequate funding to keep the local cultural centre operating.
“The Bangarang are traditional owners of parts of land of the Murray Goulburn region and the Bangarang Cultural Centre is a jewel in the crown for the Bangarang community,” Ms Lovell said.
The centre is a place to preserve and celebrate the culture and history of the Bangarang people but I am concerned the continued lack of funding from the Andrews Labor Government will see the centre close.”
Ms Lovell said that the cultural centre was the chosen site for the launch of the Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Action Plan in December 2016 and the Minister acknowledged the importance of the centre and the need to provide adequate funding to ensure its ongoing viability.
“Since this acknowledgement from the Minister, the Bangarang Cultural Centre has failed to secure any funding from this government, despite several applications and now faces the prospect of closing its doors,” Ms Lovell said.
Ms Lovell said that not only is it a place of great culture and history, staff at the centre are also delivering services and programs that are enriching the lives of Aboriginal people in the Goulburn Valley.
“An example of this is a men’s shed program run by local Bangarang man Clint Edwards which teaches young Aboriginal men the impact of family violence and strategies to avoid such situations in the future,” Ms Lovell said.
“The Bangarang Cultural Centre is a vital resource and a place of great cultural significance for the Bangarang people and that is why I have called on the Minister to commit adequate funds to ensure the centre’s ongoing operation.”