Western Sydney University’s iconic new Indigenous Centre of Excellence to connect people and place

Artist's Impression - Indigenous Centre For ExcellenceArtist's Impression of new Indigenous Centre of Excellence

Western Sydney University welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement of $78.5 million from the WestInvest program to help establish an Indigenous Centre of Excellence at the University.

The Centre, to be based at the Parramatta South campus, located on Darug land, will be an important gathering place for the community to celebrate both the University’s and the region’s long-standing connection with Indigenous people.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, Professor Michelle Trudgett, said the new Indigenous Centre of Excellence will be a benchmark for Indigenous leadership and education – a transformational place of research and inquiry, where tens of thousands of years of Indigenous knowledge and history will be celebrated throughout a state-of-the-art building.

The Centre will be established in collaboration with the University’s Elders Advisory Committee and key Indigenous stakeholders, with the University planning to launch a national design competition for the building, befitting a facility of such cultural and community significance.

Environmental sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ connection to Country will be central to the building’s architectural design and position within the surrounding natural landscape.

“The University community is delighted by the NSW Government’s support to help establish the new Indigenous Centre of Excellence. The Centre will consolidate Western Sydney as a region at the forefront of Indigenous education, employment and research,” said Professor Trudgett.

“Western Sydney is home to the largest Indigenous population in the country, so it is only fitting that we create a place for Indigenous people to celebrate culture and connection to Country. It will be an iconic destination where the community can come together to acknowledge the region’s deep connection with Indigenous people as well as lead global discourse on Indigenous knowledges steeped in the principles of reciprocity, generosity, and respect.”

Artist's Impression - Indigenous Centre For ExcellenceArtist's Impression of new Indigenous Centre of Excellence

The state-of-the-art facility will be accessible to the region’s schools, residents, and businesses, where people of all ages, abilities and interests can learn more about the rich Indigenous culture and heritage of the region, explore its arts and cultural collections, and attend performances, talks and screenings.

A showcase for stories from across the western Sydney region, the Centre will incorporate purpose-built facilities and spaces to support the sharing and preservation of Indigenous Australian culture while informal learning spaces will provide opportunities for engagement and collaboration.

Professor Trudgett said the new Centre is a key part of the University’s Indigenous Strategy 2020-2025 and its ambition to be a national leader in Indigenous higher education.

“The University has always been located on Aboriginal land. As an anchor institution serving Western Sydney we value and nurture our relationships with the Indigenous community,” Professor Trudgett said.

“By working together, we will increase Indigenous participation in higher education, pay tribute to the deep learning that has existed on these lands for tens of thousands of years, position Indigenous knowledge at the core of the University and strive towards a sustainable future that nurtures emerging generations for decades to come.”

“This is a generational opportunity for us to intensify our engagement with the community, at such a critical time for Indigenous Australians,” said Professor Barney Glover AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University.


7 February 2023

Amanda Whibley, Manager, Media and Public Relations

Image credit: Allen Jack+Cottier Architects