Yitpi Yartapuultiku

‘Naa marni are you all good? Puki Puki tampi'dlu, nartangka wapi'dlu, marnintya.' (Welcome, let us recognise the past, act in the present and build a better future.)

The Soul of Port Adelaide

Yitpi Yartapuultiku means ‘Soul of Port Adelaide’ in Kaurna.

We are excited to share the plans for Yitpi Yartapuultiku, a new Aboriginal Cultural Destination, years in the making, that we are building in the heart of Port Adelaide. Sarah Constructions has been selected as the builder for this project. Since its inception, this innovative project has been working to establish a unique cultural connection within our local community, while creating a destination where people from all backgrounds can share, learn and experience our rich heritage.

It will be an authentic place to be immersed in local culture. Our plan is for it to become a catalyst for economic growth, generating employment and boosting tourism opportunities around the Port Adelaide area.

Design drawing aerial

The journey towards the realisation of Yitpi Yartapuultiku has been marked by a commitment of respect, deep listening, collaboration and shared learning between the City of PAE, the Yitpi Yartapuultiku Aboriginal Working Group, Ashley Halliday Architects and Wax Design.

The entire process has been undertaken together, to respect the Aboriginal connection to the site, and every aspect of the design and development has been shaped by cultural knowledge of Kaurna people. Cultural practices and narratives have been seamlessly integrated, ensuring an authentic representation of
heritage.

This unique cultural place is a testament to the unity of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, where everyone can come together to share, learn and experience the rich tapestry of our heritage.

Yitpi Yartapuultiku will include indoor and outdoor activity and performance spaces, a family-friendly park and playground, public amenities, state-of-the-art facilities, meeting rooms and event spaces. In line with our Sustainability Strategy, Yitpi Yartapuultiku will have Green Star certification to achieve Australian excellence in healthy, resilient, sustainable buildings and places, with the buildings also surrounded by environmentally sustainable natural spaces.

In March 2022, Council endorsed a concept plan and business case for the project and agreed to start on detailed designs. The occasion was momentous, with Project Custodian Group members present, some of whom have been actively advocating for a centre for over twenty years.

We’ve undertaken intensive culturally embedded co-design processes with Custodians to establish a concept plan for the centre. The shared design direction includes strong cultural principles developed in partnership with leadership from Custodians. The concept plan sets up a framework to ensure that the delivery and ongoing management of the centre is grounded in people and place.

Once open, the centre will offer a diverse and engaging program of activities and experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds. It will be an inclusive and family-friendly environment, welcoming individuals to connect, play and learn. The versatile spaces, both indoors and outdoors, will accommodate a wide range of cultural and community events, from intimate gatherings to vibrant festivals. Guided tours, immersive cultural education experiences and dynamic programs will be led by knowledgeable Aboriginal Custodians, ensuring an authentic and enriching experience.

At its core, Yitpi Yartapuultiku aims to heal the land and bring the community together, while offering unparalleled opportunities for events, community programs and tourism.

Explore the Yitpi Yartapuultiku interactive map
Download the Yitpi Yartapuultiku concept design plan

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from anyone wanting to collaborate with us to deliver programs and activities that will bring Yitpi Yartapuultiku to life as a space where people can meet, learn, experience, grow and develop strong cultural connections.

Whether you are an individual, community group or organisation, if you have an idea for a program, event, project, workshop or other activity, we would like to hear from you.

Project information

Yitpi Yartapuultiku is:

  • A place for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to learn, experience and be immersed in Aboriginal culture.
  • A culturally safe place to gather. A place to practice, share, celebrate and record culture past, present and emerging.
  • A place to connect to Country and culture.

Join us on our journey planning an Aboriginal Cultural Centre for PAE.

Creating an Aboriginal Culture Centre in Port Adelaide video

Yitpi Yartapuultiku Working Group

The Yitpi Yartapuultiku Working Group (YYWG) is a large group of Aboriginal community members who have worked consistently and collaboratively on the design development for Yitpi Yartapuultiku over the past two years. The YYWG was identified as a collective of Aboriginal people who represented the council region and who provide cultural authority and leadership for and on behalf of the community and Yitpi Yartapuultiku.

Yitpi Yartapuultiku Working Group

The Soul of Port Adelaide

The Aboriginal Cultural Centre currently being built at the reserve formally known as Western Region Park (where Old Port Road meets Bower Road, north west corner) has been officially named. The project group met with local Elders to discuss ideas and concepts, and together decided on the Kaurna name Yitpi Yartapuultiku. This means ‘Soul of Port Adelaide’: Yitpi meaning 'Soul', Yartapuulti being the name that the Kaurna people gave to the land around the Port River, and ku meaning ‘of’, a Kaurna joining word.

On Tuesday 16 August 2022 a naming ceremony was held onsite, which included a Welcome to Country by Senior Kaurna Elder Lewis O’Brien, a Smoking Ceremony by Michael O’Brien and three ceremonial fires.

Yitpi Yartapuultiku will be a community place providing a range of activities and opportunities for both First Nations and non-First Nations people. It will be an authentic place to be immersed in local culture and will have indoor and outdoor activity and performance spaces, public amenities, office and meeting rooms, extensive landscaping, artwork and entry statements and areas with access to the water.

To find out more about the collaboration and co-design process, and to watch more Yitpi Yartapuultiku stories, visit our playlist on YouTube.

Listen to episode #12 of the Green Adelaide Podcast featuring City of PAE Place Leader for Yitpi Yartapuultiku Rodney Welch and Director of WAX Warwick Keats on Spotify, or visit Green Adelaide for more podcast listening options available.

FAQs

The Aboriginal Cultural Centre is envisaged as a community place providing a range of activities and opportunities for both First Nations and non-First Nations people. It will be an authentic place to be immersed in local culture.

The centre will have indoor and outdoor activity and performance spaces, public amenities, office and meeting rooms, extensive landscaping, artwork and entry statements and areas with access to the water.

The site, formally known as Western Region Park, is located on Bower Road, Port Adelaide and has direct connection to Yerta Bulti Country (the area around the Port River) and the rich cultural
history of the Kaurna People.

Yitpi Map

Council has worked closely with community to develop the Yitpi Yartapuultiku concept design. The project design team worked through a co-design process with a group of Project Custodians and with council’s Aboriginal Advisory Panel. More information about the Aboriginal Advisory Panel can be found here. The concept design is informed by a clear set of Cultural Guiding Principles, developed with our community.

A tender process was undertaken to select the principal contractor to construct Yitpi Yartapuultiku. This process ensures that the project achieves value for money, high quality, respect for cultural principles and design direction, employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and engagement with Aboriginal supply chain.

Sarah Constructions has been selected as the builder for this project.

The following protocols have been considered:

  • Culturally Safe – A locally authentic, culturally safe place
  • Cultural Practice – To bring back / repatriate cultural ways
  • Connection to Country – A place to return to Country, foster deep understanding and respect for Country and each other
  • Cultural Immersion – A place to be immersed in local culture.
  • Cultural Learning – A place of learning through listening, observation, exploring and doing
  • A Place of Healing – A place to remind us that healing is a shared process

Construction has begun at Yitpi Yartapuultiku (the Aboriginal Cultural Centre). The centre will be a community place providing a range of activities and opportunities for both First Nations and non-First Nations people. It will be an authentic place to be immersed in local culture.

The centre will incorporate indoor and outdoor activity and performance spaces, public amenities, office and meeting rooms, extensive landscaping, artwork and entry statements, areas that facilitate access to the water and car parking.

The project is expected to be completed by early 2025.

Yitpi Yartapuultiku artwork

The Parnpa-parnpalya (Kaurna for Conference) artwork was created by local Narungga Artist Ingrid  O'Loughlin.

The story of the artwork reflects how many people gather on Country connecting our soul to place. A place to be safe, share, learn and experience together. A place we sense and feel through practices, environments and attitudes that bring us greater relationship, connection and belonging.

Ingrid’s artwork represents the Yitpi Yartapuultiku design journey. The City of PAE, the Yitpi Yartapuultiku Aboriginal Working Group, Ashley Halliday Architects and Wax Design are committed to collaboration and working together with respect, deep listening and a sense of shared learning to create a place that will provide a strong sense of community.

When Yitpi Yartapuultiku is launched in early 2025, its identity will reflect the next phase of the project for the community. It will showcase a unique place where people can connect to culture, nature, activities and play, and use state-of-the-art facilities and spaces.

The Yitpi Yartapuultiku 'Living Shoreline' redevelopment is supported by the Commonwealth Government through:

  • The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
  • The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water – Urban Rivers and Catchments program
  • Green Adelaide

Image gallery