Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance first time property owners

Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance first time property owners thanks to generous funding through the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

SALTWATER Freshwater Arts Alliance Aboriginal Corporation has been granted $2.186 million funding to support the acquisition of their own premises, located in a prime position within the central business district of Coffs Harbour.

It’s been a project two years in the making.

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This significant investment has been made by the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) underpinning its ongoing commitment to supporting fresh and saltwater activities to create even more opportunities from country for Indigenous Australians to achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.

Saltwater Freshwater general manager Rick Gonsalves told News Of The Area, “’we’re excited about this opportunity for our communities from the Worimi, Biripi, Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr Nations as well as the local Coffs Coast community.

“This space means that we can finally have a long dreamed of gallery and retail space with artworks, objects and products from across the Saltwater Freshwater region on the Mid North Coast.

“We hope to become a must-visit gallery for visitors in the area and for locals looking to purchase artwork or products from Aboriginal businesses.”

The space also offers the opportunity for running cultural workshops and for potentially hiring out workshop space to Aboriginal artists and practitioners, and the wider community.

“We are keen to partner with other like-minded businesses, artisans and galleries to create a strong cultural landscape for the Coffs city centre.”

Talking through what the premises will offer, Rick said, “on level one we have our offices, and the ground floor will become the gallery, retail and workshop space.

“Saltwater Freshwater will host exhibitions of our own collection plus works from across the four nations already mentioned, with our retail space hosting a carefully-curated selection of products, art, books and more from artists, makers and Aboriginal-owned business from our region.”

There will also be cultural workshops offered.

SWFW Arts Alliance Aboriginal Corporation took possession of the building on 23 June and moved into the offices the following week.

It is hoped the gallery/retail/workshop space will be open to the public before the end of the year with works already begun on Monday.

“We have sourced local contractors for all repair and refurbishment works, including JNC Indigenous Contractors along with a number of other local trades.

“This opportunity is a huge milestone for the organisation and a real dream come true,” said Rick.

“We are so grateful to the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation for their generous support in making this happen.

“It is great to be in the Coffs Harbour CBD with the opportunity to share information and culture from the Worimi, Biripi, Dunghutti and Gumbaynggirr Nations that make up our region,” he said.

The premises are located at 6-8 Park Avenue, Coffs Harbour.


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