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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Starting off with a Toilet Block

One of the key catalysts that has worked to transform two cultural entrepreneur's dreams and visions into a real life venture has been the building of a toilet block recommended to Marilyn and Peter by the Centre for Approriate Technology back in 2008 as being the first essential step to achieving their dreams.

A planner from James Cook University has made the comment that community development in remote areas is all about toilet blocks!   For Marilyn, Peter, and Andre Grant (Centre for Appropriate Technology), for more than three years, it has certainly been 'all about tiolet blocks', recently culminating in a recent newspaper article subtitled 'Cape York's most expensive loo.

The effort involved in actually seeing a toilet block built at the place chosen for Marilyn and Peter by Marilyn's father, within core Nyungkal country (ie Kunawarra estate)  turned out to be a matter of sheer determination and persistence working through over $140 000 worth of pro-bono support and assistance from groups such as Engineers without Borders, Aurecon, and Norton Rose ..  consulting people, building relations, preparing plans, draw up all the designs, producing reports, addressing legal issues, obtaining all necessary approvals etc etc.

The same planner from James Cook University (Sharon Harwood) has also described Marilyn, Peter et al's combined efforts to find way through the maze of regulations, laws, and approvals is being a first for almost any Aboriginal based enterprise in Cape York.

Whatever the case may be, the last three weeks represent a very significant milestone, laying a very substantial foundation from which the Bana Yarralji cultural enterprise hopes and expects to be able to launch:   ie after more than three years and long extended efforts by many, the toilet block is finally being built  .. and on being built, is starting to look a bit like a palace from which Marilyn and Peter plus family will be able to oversee the whole Bana Yarralji cultural enterprise?


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Cultural entreprenuers moving onto country, building a base on country, working on country; caring for country, and hosting guests on country

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