Minjerribah Ganaba means ‘a place to hear, think and understand’. The intent in retrofitting the old Dunwich High School into a space for QYAC (Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation) was to represent and empower all Quandamooka people. The Minjerribah Ganaba project enhances QYAC’s objective to “improve the accessibility of education & training services to our community and to build understanding, respect for and recognition of Quandamooka custodianship, language and culture”.
The materials and colour palette reflects the identity of the three indigenous tribal owners who collectively identify as ‘people of the land and sea.’ There are many stories incorporated into the spaces, colour choices and signage. The coastline adjacent the site is where ancestors would fish andaccah (mullet) in collaboration with the baunguan (dolphin) and mirrigimpa (sea eagle). Earth and sea colour choices reflect and incorporate the stories.
This story has been evoked in the conversion of the old school basketball court into a ceremonial space where plywood ‘dolphin blades’ represent the island’s twelve indigenous families. Colour, forms and patterns in paths and trellises reference gabul (carpet snake), an important clan totem known as the brother to the dolphin. A fire pit surrounded by native fire making plants empowers the community to enact their right to light fires in a safe, purpose made area.