Darwin Convention Centre Transforms Venue with Art and Culture

10th May, 2024

The Darwin Convention Centre has collaborated with Winya, a profit-for-purpose business that supports Indigenous training and employment growth, to refurbish its venue furniture with Larrakia textiles. The project has transformed the venue with a vibrant display of First Nations artistry that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Committed to sourcing ethically and sustainably manufactured textiles, Winya has curated a stunning collection of fabrics for the Centre. The collection showcases the talents of local Larrakia artists while infusing the Centre with a vibrant array of colours and stories. Mim Cole, a contributing artist, shares her delight in seeing her art displayed throughout the Convention Centre.

“As a proud Gulumoerrgin Larrakia woman, it is incredible to see our art come to life in different forms. I’m so happy and grateful for the Convention Centre to be showcasing our art on this beautiful furniture on Larrakia country.”

NT Winya Manager Michelle Smith, further explains how this project was a double celebration for their organisation.

“We are grateful to the Darwin Convention Centre for allowing Winya to open the doors to our wonderful Larrakia Artists and showcase their beautiful artworks through furniture. Winya has recently launched its brand-new Indigenous house fabric collection nationally, where we have personally engaged local indigenous artists from different regions throughout Australia. We have done this to guarantee that the designs are sourced organically and ethically and to also ensure the artists are paid above the industry standard.

In addition, we have a strong initiative on sustainability where we focus on the re-use and redeployment of our products. Being able to repurpose the Centre’s existing furniture to give it another 10 plus years of life is all part of Winya’s circular economy programme. We are very proud of this collaboration with the Darwin Convention Centre, working together to make sure every design suited each piece of furniture perfectly and complemented the spaces within the venue.”

The refurbishment project follows the Centre’s recent initiative to rename four of its meeting rooms with traditional Larrakia names as part of its commitment to reconciliation. In consultation with Larrakia Elders, the spaces were named after sea creatures to reflect the Centre’s position within the spectacular Darwin Waterfront Precinct. The new signage for the meeting rooms now features vibrant artwork by a local Larrakia artist.

Darwin Convention Centre General Manager Peter Savoff, explains the significance of these projects, stating, “As a business situated on Larrakia Country, we acknowledge the importance of honouring the rich cultural heritage of Darwin’s Traditional Owners. We work closely with the Larrakia people to ensure guests visiting our venue gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Larrakia culture while visiting Darwin.

By working with Winya and their talented Larrakia artists, we are proud to have given our venue furniture a new lease on life - all while creating a harmonious blend of art and functionality that will resonate with visitors during their conference.”

The Darwin Convention Centre is located in the tropical capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory and is one of the nation’s premier business event venues. With some 23,000 sqm of space, including a 1,200-seat tiered auditorium, 4,000 sqm of exhibition halls, 225 exhibition booth spaces and seven concurrent meeting spaces, the Darwin Convention Centre has built a global reputation as a world-class venue.

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