Galkangu / Bendigo Government Hub
Galkangu is a new building and cultural landscape in the Bendigo CBD to house different government agencies in a central location. DJANDAK worked with Regional Development Victoria and other project partners to embed Djaara values of respect, recognition and reconciliation into the design. DJANDAK enabled many Djaara artists to embed their artistic expression and unique Djaara style, in the infrastructure, the artwork, and the landscape of this iconic new facility.
Our design journey
DJANDAK was engaged early in this project which helped us get Djaara members to establish the guiding principles and bring together the essential knowledge that was needed to infuse into the buildings design.
Bluestone and granite converge in the forecourt, symbolizing the joining of two cultures and Djaara’s distinct perspectives on governing Country.
The Djaara language resonates throughout the rooms and spaces, carrying tens of thousands of years of traditions, customs and values.
The interior design uses a range of colours and materials to reflect the layers of the Box Iron Bark Forest and Bendigo surrounds, weaving a narrative that encompasses two perspectives on gold mining – acknowledging its colonial impact on both people and Country.
The landscaping features include a water element, emphasizing the significance to Djaara of passing on clean, healthy water and offering the soothing sounds of running water. Healing, culturally important plants create a space that nurtures both people and the environment, including a planting palette of locally native plants that are found on Djandak (Dja Dja Wurrung Country).
Renowned artists, including Dja Dja Wurrung, Yorta Yorta and Jaru artist Natasha Carter, have contributed their unique perspectives. The artworks ‘Giramal’ and ‘Buri-Gutang Djaa’ evoke themes of honour, protection, identity and the ongoing journey across Country.
Lastly, the Circle of Elder sculpture captures four Elders sitting with Nyernang, Wurrekang, Dhelkup Nyernila (listening, talking and good deep listening) each contributing their skill mastery, totemic Lore and kinship responsibilities to the conversation of tribal governance and the roles of season and Ceremony of Country.
The Djaara Centred Design team facilitated Djaara member engagement and brought cultural knowledge to the design, resulting in a a collaborative and remarkable outcome that has broad community recognition. We’re very proud of the outcome of this collaboration.