Opening of Nulungu Centre for Indigenous Studies at Notre Dame, Broome

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 29-8-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Broome Campus

Publication Place



Dr Michael Quinlan, Chancellor of The University of Notre Dame Australia presided at the launch of the new Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University’s Broome Campus on 21 August.

Dr Quinlan said that the University was proud of this new facility which will focus on teaching, research, cultural outreach and cultural training.

”The aim is that the Centre be a place of excellence in teaching and research located in Broome, servicing and being serviced by relevant Schools on all three campuses – Broome, Fremantle and Sydney.”

Over 100 guests attended the launch and watched as the Most Reverend Christopher Saunders DD, Bishop of Broome, blessed the staff of the Centre and their work.

Yawuru Elder, Cissy Djiagween, gave the traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ and announced the name of the Centre would be Nulungu. Guests were told that the Traditional Owners chose this name which means ‘meeting place’ because it has special significance and a treasured history on this site.

Centre Director, Associate Professor Lyn Henderson-Yates, explained the reason for the establishment of the Centre. She said many years of planning had gone into making the Centre a reality.

“The Centre aims to empower and make a difference in the lives of Indigenous Australian people and contribute to the national and international bank of Indigenous knowledge.”

Assoc Prof Henderson-Yates went on to say that the Centre is currently engaged in several research projects which aim to strengthen Aboriginal communities and those who serve them.

As part of the evening the inaugural Nulungu Reconciliation Lecture was delivered by Professor Patrick Dodson. In this major speech Professor Dodson said the nation would be enhanced by the full and proper recognition and protection of its Indigenous cultures.

He argued for a ‘courageous’ dialogue on constitutional recognition beyond changes to the preamble. Professor Dodson said the Federal Government’s apology to the Stolen Generations in February had drawn ’a line in the sand’ and he believed the nation had moved into a ‘post-reconciliation period’.

“Indigenous people needed to be able to participate fully in the economic life of the nation while being assured that they have not to surrender their identity and cultural ways in the process.”

The Nulungu Reconciliation Lecture is to be an annual event on the Broome Campus where key speakers will be invited to address issues of Reconciliation that shape contemporary Aboriginal and Australian thought and experience. Following the Centre launch and lecture, guests were entertained by Jim Edgar and Stephen ‘Baamba’ Albert with the special sound of Broome music.

Media contact Lyn Quince 9192 0602