Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye, alongside Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) CEO Daniel Miller, today opened the much-anticipated Nakunbalook Environmental and Cultural Education Centre in Sale.
The centre, a joint project between Council and GLaWAC, and supported by the John Leslie Foundation, is a new space for events and learning programs with a focus on the natural environment, sustainability, and culture.
Nakunbalook is located adjacent to the Seed Community Garden in the Lake Guthridge-Guyatt precinct.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said Nakunbalook would set a high standard for showcasing the importance of the environment and culture.
It will host a range of learning programs including Wellington Shire Council's Sustainable Living Education program, community group meetings, workshops, citizen science pop-up labs and Aboriginal cultural experiences.
"Two of the priority areas identified in the Council Plan 2021-25 are climate change and partnering with the Gunaikurnai, and our work in making this centre a reality supports both of these priorities," Cr Bye said.
"Nakunbalook will play an important role in educating the community on the value of our natural environment and on the cultural heritage of the Gunaikurnai and their ancient connection to Country.
"The Wellington community should be very proud to have this outstanding facility available to them."
Construction of Nakunbalook was funded by Wellington Shire Council ($400,000), John Leslie Foundation ($200,000) and Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation ($50,000).
Nakunbalook is a Gunaikurnai name meaning ‘Grandfather Gumtree’, which represents knowledge and place, as the area contains many significant red gums and has high cultural and biodiversity values.
More information about Nakunbalook is available on the Sale Botanic Gardens website at www.salebotanicgardens.com.au/attraction/nakunbalook