Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall looks over the plans for the refurbishment of the Dhiiyaan Centre with Director Corporate Services Mitchell Johnson, Moree Services Club Manager Graham James and centre manager Chris Binge.

MOREE’S Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre holds some of the most important Aboriginal family records in NSW and thanks to a $495,545 grant from the NSW Government will soon undergo major renovations.


Making the announcement in Moree this week, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said Moree Plains Shire Council would contribute $306,900 to complement the $495,545 ClubGrants NSW funding for the impressive $804,445 project.


“This is a fantastic outcome for Moree and the Kamilaroi and Gamilaraay people as this centre is the repository for over 100,000 genealogical records of local families, including data bases, significant objects, photographs and burial record,” Mr Marshall said.


“The project will see a total refurbishment of the centre including purpose built archival rooms, new common entrance foyer, new offices and galleries, new carpets, painting, furniture and fittings.


“The existing amenities will be upgraded to include disabled facilities and an access ramp will be built.


“The upgrading will increase the centres capacity for storage and also improve management efficiency and public access,” he said.


Mr Marshall said the Centre was in a good position with a newly appointed Aboriginal Manager Chris Binge and Council commitment to first stage capital improvements and ongoing management costs.


“The Centre is also a founding member of the newly established Aboriginal Culture, Heritage and Arts Association (ACHAA) a developing network of Aboriginal keeping places, knowledge centres and arts centres hosted by Museums and Galleries NSW (M&GNSW).


“Arts NSW provided the State Library with $200,000 towards collection evaluation and preservation, and assistance with transition to an independent organisation.


“This upgrade represents a significant milestone which will greatly assist the work of the Council and State Library and will allow the Centre to re-establish public opening hours.


“Currently people wanting to access family records have to make an appointment,” he said.

Moree Plains Shire Council Director Corporate Services Mitchell Johnson said from a council perspective they were “over the moon” that they could now move on with the total refit of the building.


“This is not only a great outcome for Moree but the whole region as the Dhiiyaan Centre is a cultural keeping place for a huge number of culturally significant aboriginal artefacts,” Mr Johnson said.


“With the purpose built archival rooms we will also have the capacity to repatriate quite a lot of material that is sitting in storage in a Sydney museum that has great relevance to this area.


“The building that houses the Dhiiyaan Centre will also incorporate a local and military history section so it will become quite a draw card for locals and tourists alike,” he said.