Yalawanyi Ganya opening celebration

Yalawanyi Ganya foyer

A tremendous milestone is reached.

While the doors to MidCoast Council’s Administration and Customer Service Centre, Yalawanyi Ganya, were open for business early in January, the new building is being officially recognised in a celebration today, Friday 5 February 2021.

The event brings together those involved throughout the design and construction journey, including contractors, Gathang language-holders, Biripi artists, Councillors and local Aboriginal Elders. While the gathering is limited in numbers for social-distancing reasons, formalities include the unveiling of a plaque to acknowledge this important final phase of the project and the planting of a wishing tree, gifted to MidCoast Council by local students during the ‘School Strike 4 Climate’ in September 2019.

“Seeing Yalawanyi Ganya opening its doors to the public in the new year was a tremendous milestone,” explained MidCoast Council’s General Manager, Adrian Panuccio.

“This week’s official opening marks the final stage in centralising our operations to deliver more efficient outcomes for our community, as well as celebrating an important asset that will serve the local community for years to come.”

The name plaque will be unveiled by Cr David West, Mayor, and Cr Claire Pontin, Deputy Mayor, following a cleansing ceremony and performances by local Aboriginal dance groups.

The name Yalawanyi Ganya was developed in close consultation with Gathang language-holders, the language of the Birrbay, Warrimay and Guringay people of the MidCoast region.
Yalawanyi means ‘sitting / meeting place’, and Ganya means ‘house’. Together they represent the nature of the business that will take place in the building, and the opportunity it provides for the community to visit.

Members of the community are welcome to visit the building at any time, with the public art space currently showing the Barray marrung duumu exhibit, meaning ‘keep country well’, a reflection of and ode to Aboriginal culture in our area.

Among the works are the original pieces by local artists Brittany Cochrane and Raechel Saunders that were selected to have elements incorporated in the design of Yalawanyi Ganya. ‘Living as One on Biripi Country’ and ‘Connected’ now feature prominently throughout the building.

Planning is also underway for an opportunity for the community to take a tour of Yalawanyi Ganya. Firm dates will be established when more certainty around public gatherings is possible.

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