This is now a bigger issue than siting of the …

Comment on Gallery at Anzac: Council has no position, says Deputy Mayor by Louise Samways.

This is now a bigger issue than siting of the gallery.
It is now a question of whether Council want to support a site that will forever split the town ….and remind us and the whole world that the exploitation of Aboriginal people while ignoring their cultural needs and obligations continues.
If they go ahead with the Anzac site it will be interesting to see if there is then a boycott that actually drives the kind of tourists you are after away from Alice to the galleries interstate instead.
The govt have already made it clear they are comfortable with dividing the town AND wasting tens of millions on relocation of existing assets which makes you wonder what are we not being told?
Also considering that Galleries have to have coffee and souvenir/gift shop how will this increase business in the mall?
It is the business owners in the mall that have the most to lose by a CBD location!

Recent Comments by Louise Samways

Gallery: Council did not say boo
Steve: What we are actually talking about here is property that does not belong to the government at all, ie the Aboriginal art of the whole of Australia.
The building has no purpose if Aboriginal people decide the lack of respect for their cultural values is just further exploitation and an insult they are not prepared to wear … and so boycott the building.
Since the Gunner government has such contempt for Aboriginal priorities in displaying their art and telling its story in proper cultural context in the landscape, the Council needs to take ownership of this project, harness the overwhelming support for the Aboriginal Gallery concept in Alice Springs and go direct to Canberra to fund this as a reconcilliation and Central Desert development project.
Show some leadership, stand up to any bullying or threat and take on the project!

Anzac Oval: Minister won’t rule out compulsory acquisition
Why not use the energy of the entire town’s support for the gallery instead of dividing us?
It makes far more sense to put more international accommodation in the mall which WOULD be a boon to CBD businesses, and the gallery in an iconic site which properly and respectfully celebrates the connection between Aboriginal art and culture in the landscape, giving tourists something worth the airfares to see.
Compulsory acquisition of the Plaza building to repurpose as high end accommodation may be welcomed by owners? And we would still have the Melanka site for even more accommodation.
Or are they proposing to repeat mistakes of past and put accommodation well away from the CBD?

Gallery: Gunner sticks with ANZAC Oval
Unfortunately the suspicion that Dale Wakefield’s latest consultation process is also flawed was confirmed when I stopped to chat at her tent and was subjected to a marketing exercise by “Mark” (public servant) for the Anzac Oval site.
Dale’s comment in today’s Advocate that two out of three people she speaks to are in favour of Anzac site shows an extremely poor understanding of what a valid consultation process looks like, given her government’s public statements insisting on Anzac site.
Not many against this site would waste their time talking to her.
Dale also completely destroyed her own argument about this being good for CBD when she talked about people “going for coffee in the gallery” and argued locals would go there “once a week”.
This is not Melbourne or Sydney. The locals will never be the ones that make this viable.
We need to attract overseas and interstate visitors looking for a unique experience in a unique setting reflecting and respecting Aboriginal traditions of proper place.

Art gallery: Govt keeps major Alice lobbies in the dark
My understanding is that traditional Aboriginal Art was represented not just in rock paintings but also what I have been shown out bush, i.e. representations drawn in the sand to tell stories and for ceremony.
These are textured in a way and often a size not possible on canvas.
If this is to be a credible and authentic National Aboriginal Art Gallery I cannot see how it can be done within a building surrounded by watered lawns.
As explained to me “place” and context is critical to understanding Aboriginal culture and art. A site which allows for outdoor exhibits in the landscape will be essential.

‘Our’ gallery: Will Gunner, Ryan slay the dragon stealing it?
For some years the best and most sustainable tourism has been found to be about providing “an experience” not just something to look at.
If located in a unique landscape giving proper context to a National Aboriginal Art Gallery and Cultural Centre we can easily compete with a recycled hospital site in Adelaide no matter who designs the building.
We have no hope of competing for the money to build it or the tourists if we want to shove our offering out of site behind a performance stage and green watered grass.
Marketing is about stressing your USP (unique selling point).
Apart from showing some respect to the Aboriginal cultural needs and the heritage value of the site to the whole community, it is time the government applied some very basic economic and marketing principals to this issue.
Stop putting unnecessary obstacles in the way by insisting on a site so totally unsuitable in every way.

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