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Tarrkarri - Centre for First Nations Cultures

Tarrkarri (pronounced tar-ka-ri) will provide a platform for the world to learn about the unique cultures and incredible story of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
Image: Tarrkarri_North Terrace arrival with water feature and cantilevered galleries evoking a sense of welcome. Design credit_Woods Bagot and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Located on Kaurna Yerta (Kaurna Country), Tarrkarri - Centre for First Nations Cultures will be Australia’s premier Centre honoring more than 60,000 years of continuous First Nations cultures across the country.

This major project, launched in December 2021, will be the cultural heart of Lot Fourteen and be internationally recognised as an iconic place of belonging, healing, reconciliation and pride for the people of South Australia and will help drive interstate and international tourism to Adelaide as a unique major cultural destination.

The commitment to Tarrkarri (pronounced tar-ka-ri) is significant; the Australian Government will provide up to $85 million towards the construction of the Centre under the Adelaide City Deal, with the Government of South Australia providing $115 million in additional funding.

The Centre will create an extraordinary, immersive experience combining traditional storytelling with modern technology to deliver a major cultural tourist attractor and a source of pride for all South Australians, as the world learns more about the incredible story and unique cultures of Australia’s First Peoples.

The state government is working in close partnership with Aboriginal communities on planning and development of this internationally significant Centre, to ensure strong representation of the Aboriginal people’s story and their culture, values and aspirations.

The Aboriginal Reference Group has been established with members from South Australian and national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island stakeholder groups and is comprised of:

  • David Rathman – Chair and Project Ambassador

  • Cara Kirkwood - National Gallery of Australia, Indigenous Engagement and Strategy

  • Mickey O’Brien – represents Kaurna People through Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation

  • Jess Davies-Huynh – represents Kaurna People through Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation, Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi, Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association

  • Lorraine Merrick - South Australian Museum, Aboriginal Partnership Committee

  • Ali Baker - Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute

  • Craig Ritchie – Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

  • Keith Thomas - SA Native Title Services

  • Diane Dixon - Department of the Premier and Cabinet

In February 2021 Woods Bagot and Diller Scofido + Renfo (DS+R) were appointed to work with the Aboriginal Reference Group to develop the detailed architectural design for the Centre.

Programmed early site works are scheduled to begin in late 2021 with Tarrkarri scheduled for opening to the public in early 2025. Track Tarrkarri’s progress, by visiting the Tarrkarri web camera - providing live photo updates every 30 minutes.

In the following short clip, listen to the Centre’s Ambassador, David Rathman AM, as he talks to the Centre's significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. From showcasing 60,000 years of culture to expressing hurts, understandings and beliefs, this powerful message is just part of the story that will unfold as the build of the Centre begins on North Terrace.


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