Giidany Miirlarl Education Space

Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour – 2011

The project incorporates an outdoor education and performance space which is enveloped by a curved timber entry ramp to the island and a 3m high timber screen, creating a natural amphitheatre. The robust, elegant structure provides shelter and a place for story telling, learning, and rest. Integration of the structure with artwork and interpretive panels creates an engaging experience through which one enters the island, enhancing awareness of the natural and cultural significance of this special place.

The Giidany Miirlarl Education Space  was awarded for architectural design excellence in the 2011 National Australian Timber Design Awards, and won the 2012 NSW Premier’s Prize for Architecture in the 2012 Australian Institute of Architecture NSW Awards.

In addition to the architectural awards, the Aboriginal Discovery Tour at Giidany Miirlarl has won Regional, State and National Indigenous Tourism Awards. The structure at Muttonbird Island stands in tribute to Coffs Harbour’s Gumbaynggirr heritage, and is an integral part of the Discovery Tour, featuring the artwork of local Aboriginal artists Shane Phillips and Janelle Marshall, with interpretive signage designed by Anna Fisher.