Tag Archives: indigenous

Coffs Attraction, Nation’s Best

COFFS Harbour’s walk of discovery, highlighting the harbour’s Aboriginal heritage has won acclaim at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

The Muttonbird Island attraction, known as Giidayn Miirral, overnight added the national award for indigenous tourism to its state and regional accolades.

The $320,000 harbour-side structure, featuring the artwork of local Aboriginal artist Shane Phillips, stands in tribute to Coffs Harbour’s Gumbaynggirr heritage.

Local elder Aunty Gloria Phillips said the attraction is an important achievement for both the Gumbaynggirr and wider Coffs Harbour communities.

“This is a sacred site and by highlighting its history, it is sharing our stories with the many people who come here,” Aunty Phillips said.

National Parks and Wildlife Service discovery ranger Mark Flanders, has shared Gumbaynggirr culture with thousands of visitors on tours of Muttonbird Island over nine years.

“It’s great to have all the work put in by the local and Aboriginal communities recognised at such a high level,” Mr Flanders said.

NSW outshone the other states at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, scoring 11 wins out of 27 categories.

The 27th annual event acknowledges the best travel companies around the nation including tour operators, adventure trips and accommodation.

Winners for NSW included Jenolan Caves with two awards for best tourist attraction and heritage and cultural tourism, Tri State Safaris for tour/transport operators and Newcastle Airport for specialised tourism services.

Queensland won just a single award for Fantasea Adventure Cruising as the top major tour operator.

This was in stark contrast to last year’s wins in seven categories in a what was lauded as a sign of the state’s resilience after the floods and Cyclone Yasi.

Tasmania dominated in the luxury stakes, with the Saffire-Freycinet winning best luxury accommodation and the Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel for deluxe accommodation.

Other winners include the Melbourne Museum as best major tourist attraction and Maria Island Walk for the adventure tourism category.

The award for excellence in sustainable tourism went to Lane Cove River Tourist Park (NSW) – its second consecutive win.

National Tourism Alliance Chairman Col Hughes congratulated all finalists and winners.

“We recognise and applaud the many businesses who continue to demonstrate excellence in servicing the needs and exceeding the expectations of both domestic and international visitors – you are living examples of the finest of quality tourism experiences in Australia,” he said.

Sunshine Coast Daily |  Matt Deans | 4th March 2012

Photo: Trevor Veale

 

 

2012 Australian Institute of Architects- Premier’s Prize

Giidany Miirlarl Education Space, Coffs Harbour

Fisher Design + Architecture in association with Mackenzie Pronk Architects

The Premier’s Prize recognises an architect or a project that has contributed to the advancement of architecture in our State. While in the past it has been left to the personal discretion of the Premier, this year I opened up the decision to the people of NSW. And I have always been very confident that the people of NSW invariably ‘get it right’. Through an online poll, the readers of the Sydney Morning Herald voted on the three shortlisted projects nominated by the Government Architect, Peter Poulet. Although all three projects were worthy and embodied a strong social commitment, there can only be one winner. I am very pleased to award the 2012 NSW Premier’s Prize, confirmed by an overwhelming number of citizens, to the Giidany Miirlarl Education Space in Coffs Harbour. Giidany Miirlarl celebrates local Aboriginal culture and history and represents a healing of the scars from when Muttonbird Island was joined to the mainland in 1924. Importantly, the awarding of this project demonstrates our support for all regional communities and in particular Aboriginal communities across NSW. Fisher Design and Architecture in association with Mackenzie Pronk Architects were commissioned by Arts Mid North Coast, National Parks and Wildlife, and Coffs Harbour City Council to build a robust and elegant structure that provides public space, as well as an opportunity to learn about the cultural and environmental history of the site. Giidany Miirlarl successfully achieves this. Local Aboriginal stories about the island will be told in the amphitheatre and the history of the place has been inscribed for all to see on panels which spiral up the rising ramp enveloping the meeting place. Local artists Shane Phillips and Janelle Marshall have creatively interpreted traditional stories of the island and added to a place for social interaction, storytelling, learning and rest. This modestly scaled building project has made a significant social contribution and has been a truly collaborative effort bringing the community together to tell the story of the island. I commend it as a worthy recipient of the 2012 Premier’s Prize – as selected by the people of New South Wales.

Jury Citation

2011 Australian Timber Design Awards- Design Excellence Award

 Giidany Miirlarl Education Space

Fisher Design + Architecture in association with Mackenzie Pronk Architects

Christian Fisher of Fisher Design + Architecture, and Neil Mackenzie of Mackenzie Pronk Architects jointly accepted an award for architectural design excellence in the Outdoor Timber – Stand Alone Structures category, at the Australian Timber Design awards dinner in Melbourne on 18 October 2011.

The award is an important recognition of the value of public architecture in Coffs Harbour and on the mid north coast, and provides a place for the people of Coffs Harbour to experience cultural events, music and performances in a space which is vibrant, encouraging and respectful.

 

 

 

Local Architects win Design Excellence Award

Local Architects win Design Excellence Award for new entrance to Giidany Miirlarl – Muttonbird Island

Coffs Harbour’s other tourist icon has received yet another award, the latest being for architectural design excellence.

The Education Space, at Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve in Coffs Harbour, attracts over 150,000 visitors every year and has been recognised at the Australian Timber Design Awards.

Christian Fisher of Fisher Design + Architecture, and Neil Mackenzie of Mackenzie Pronk Architects jointly accepted the award for architectural design excellence in the Outdoor Timber – Stand Alone Structures category, at the awards dinner in Melbourne on Tuesday, October 18.

Mr Fisher said the judges were impressed by the structures’ organic form and robust character in the highly exposed marine location.

“Timber was chosen for its natural textural qualities, and its ability to be worked and inscribed with the artwork by Grafton artist Shane Phillips”, Christian said.

Commissioned by the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Arts Mid North Coast, Coffs Harbour City Council, Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Coffs Harbour Elders Group and the Marine Park Authority, the project was made possible through the Federal Governments’ Job Fund Program.

Gumbayngirr Elder and NPWS Discovery guide Mark Flanders said the outdoor education space was completed and opened to the public in March 2011.

“The new Education Space encourages an understanding of the cultural and environmental history of the site, and provides a place for social interaction, story telling, learning and rest”, Mark said.

“The project involved the construction of the Education Space as well as the training of Aboriginal Discovery Rangers to deliver the tours conducted on the Island to the public and to schools”, he said.

“The overall project has already received a Regional Indigenous Tourism Award.

“These awards are recognition of the outcome possible when an innovative team work together including an enlightened client, artists and architects.”

The Coffs Coast Aboriginal Discovery Program including the education space, at Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve was also winner in the recent Regional Tourism Awards, and as a result is also a finalist in the NSW State Tourism Awards due to be announced in November.

Bellingen Courier Sun | 26th October 2011

Structured to impress the judges

Coffs Harbour’s other tourist icon has received yet another award, the latest being for architectural design excellence.

The Education Space, at Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve in Coffs Harbour, attracts over 150,000 visitors every year and has been recognised at the Australian Timber Design Awards.

Christian Fisher of Fisher Design + Architecture, and Neil Mackenzie of Mackenzie Pronk Architects jointly accepted the award for architectural design excellence in the Outdoor Timber – Stand Alone Structures category, at the awards dinner in Melbourne on Tuesday (18/10/2011) night.

Coffs Coast Advocate |  22 October 2011