A Treaty Needs a House: Emplacing First Peoples’ A Priori Rights in Wurundjeri Country, Metropolitan Melbourne

  • Anoma Pieris
  • Gary Murray


Charged with the tasks of giving unique and diverse cultural visibility to, creating political awareness about and economically empowering First Peoples communities, models for First Peoples cultural centres have morphed across numerous programmes in recent decades. Their transformation coincides with international attention to First Peoples rights and the creation of national First Peoples networks. Architecture is used to emplace these changing needs. This chapter examines how debates on Treaty in Victoria inform the nascent vision of a cultural, social and political institution for First Peoples communities and discusses the consultative processes and programmatic aspirations surrounding the facility. Central to this discussion are a priori rights and the host–guest relationship.



This paper builds on research conducted under an Australian Research Council Linkage project titled Indigenous-Placemaking in Central Melbourne : Representations, Practices and Creative Research (2010–2012) led by Janet McGaw with Anoma Pieris and Graham Brawn, at the University of Melbourne, and Emily Potter from the Deakin University’s School of Communication and Creative Arts. Partner organisations on this grant were The Victorian Traditional Land Owners Land Justice Group (VTOLJG), the Melbourne City Council and Reconciliation Victoria. We would like to thank the following persons for providing comments and materials on the precedents and their designs: Gregory Burgess, Jeremy Clark (Brambuk Cultural Centre), Tony Styant-Browne (Galina Beek Cultural Centre), CEO Tom Mosby, Carey Lyon, Jefa Greenaway and Rueben Berg (Koorie Heritage Trust), Michael Anderson (Aboriginal Tent Embassy) and Janne Laukka (Sàmi Parliament, Finland).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.MelbourneAustralia

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