The Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre is the flagship project for artistic and cultural development in the Katherine Region. Stage One, completed in June 2012, was the result of 10 years planning and community consultation driven by the Katherine Regional Cultural Centre Action Group and including key players in arts development, tourism, education and training, Indigenous land and economic development and government.
The building of Stage One created the first fully functioning community cultural space for the town and in its first five years has enabled the development and showcasing of performance projects, local exhibitions and increased access for local communities to national touring product. The multi-purpose space has hosted meetings, performances, celebrations and conferences for many local and Territory wide organisations.
Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre values, respects and recognises all the people of the Katherine region and their histories and culture. We are committed to clear, honest and open communication, two way learning and teamwork. We strive to promote high quality arts practice across all areas and encourage collaborative working and sharing of our stories.
We actively consult and communicate openly with members of the local Indigenous community in order to establish Indigenous cultural perspectives on all exhibitions or public programs that involve Indigenous peoples.
Our work is underpinned by a number of protocols recognising the cultural diversity of the region and all aspects of arts practice, including protocols concerning the acknowledgment, presentation and retail of Aboriginal cultural products within the Centre.
Godinymayin (Godding-marn) is the name of a respected Aboriginal elder who once lived on the land on which the Centre is built. He had a particularly close attachment to this land in accordance with local Aboriginal culture. Godinymayin’s story was the rock wallaby which you can see in our logo and public art.
Yijard (I-jard) is the word used for ‘big’ in one of the local Aboriginal languages. The Katherine region is known locally as the ‘Big Rivers’ region. Rivers such as the Katherine, the Roper, the Wilton, the Victoria and the Daly flow through the area, hence ‘Yijard Rivers’.
Cedric Fordimail’s work, Godinymayin, was selected to be the iconic ‘rock wallaby’ sculpture at the entrance of the Centre. Cedric Fordimail was born in Barunga and is from the Mayili clan. The Mayili people have cultural connections with the Jawoyn, whose country extends north of Katherine into the Arnhem Land escarpment. Cedric lives in the Jodetluk community on the outskirts of Katherine and has been painting since he was a young child.
14 July, 2012
The opening was a day of celebrations that saw close to 1000 visitors attend a spectacular array of cultural activities including traditional dancing from three Indigenous community groups – the Mularra dancers from Bulman, the Djilpin Dancers and the Young, Wagilag group from Ngukurr.
Children’s workshops , two regional community art events – the Paint the Sky kite project and the Godinymayin Lights project from Katherine Regional Arts, a curated exhibition to showcase regional artists – Big River Country, a fire dance performance from the Fire B Boys from Wugularr and a country music concert – Calling Me Home by Sara Storer, Leah Flanagan and Tracey Bunn.
22-24 September, 2013
Women of the World (WOW) Festival
Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre was selected to be one of only two Australian venues to host the international WOW Festival, that celebrates the strength and achievements of women. WOW 2013 was held in conjunction with Southbank Centre, London.
WOW Katherine included a speakers program, a speed mentoring session, three exhibitions, a media program, workshops, a market place and performances. The Festival celebrated the diversity of women and men from different backgrounds, language groups and ages from the Katherine region, the NT, from interstate and overseas.
9 May, 2015
Big Top – Circus Kathmandu & Corrugated Iron Youth Circus
For the first time, Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre joined forces with Katherine Town Council to present a free family event in our outside amphitheatre. Over 900 people enjoyed a quintessential Territory experience as they sat under the stars and watched a brilliant sunset in the distance and a spectacular circus performance.
6 May, 2016
Yidumduma Bill Harney: Bush Professor
Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre presented a national tour from 2016 to 2018 of Yidumduma Bill Harney: Bush Professor. The retrospective visual arts exhibition showcased the work of Yidumduma Bill Harney and was curated by Margie West AM. It was first shown at GYRACC in 2016, before travelling to nine regional and remote venues across the country. Supported by funding from the Australian Government through its Visions for Australia program and by the Gordon Darling Foundation the exhibition was seen by over 26,000 people.
Godinymayin yijard rivers arts & culture centre
Our organisation, the Katherine Regional Cultural Precinct Ltd (KRCP) is a cultural enterprise established in 2011 to develop and professionally manage the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre (the Centre). The KRCP is a Company Limited by Guarantee. Its Members are the Northern Land Council, the Northern Territory Government and the Katherine Town Council.
The Centre is controlled by a Board of Directors, appointed by the Members, and includes the following:
Six Member Representative Directors
Appointed by the Northern Land Council comprised as follows:
Two Member Representative Directors
Appointed by the Northern Territory Government.
One Member Representative Director
Appointed by the Katherine Town Council
Selected from the general public as Community Representatives, and elected by the Member appointed Directors.
Toni Tapp Coutts
Toni is a born and bred Territorian, growing up on Killarney Station south west of Katherine in the Northern Territory and has spent most of her life in rural areas. She is a best-selling author of two memoirs, a third book for young readers, and has co-authored and self-published numerous other publications. Toni is the Katherine Town Council representative on the Godinymayin Yijard Arts and Cultural Centre Board and has been an elected member of the Katherine Town Council for 14 years. Toni’s contribution to the arts in the Katherine region has been extensive and she is passionate about gathering, keeping and telling of stories.
Jessica has lived and worked in Katherine most of her life and though she has travelled widely, her passion for the outdoors and amazing lifestyle of the Territory has drawn her back to Katherine.
Throughout her career she has worked with both the private and Government sectors and is currently Principal Economic Development Officer for Department of Trade Business and Innovation servicing the Big Rivers Region. She coordinates the Big Rivers Regional Economic Development Committee meetings, which assists the region to grow its economic base, identify and prioritise local economic development opportunities.
Northern Territory Government Representative
Jake has lived and worked throughout the Northern Territory for 15 years in Senior Management Positions with Community Governments, Shires and Regional Councils. He is currently the Regional Executive Director, Big Rivers Region with the Northern Territory Government Department of the Chief Minister. Jake represents the NTG as a Director on the Nitmiluk National Park Joint Management Board and the MacArthur River Mine Community Benefits Trust and is the Chairperson of the Big Rivers Regional Coordination Committee.
Danny Murphy is a Katherine based potter whose work has received national and international acclaim. Most recently he was awarded the Brian and Jeanette Lambert Award at the 44th Katherine Prize.
Danny has recently joined the Godinymayin Board of Management bringing a practicing artists perspective as well as his experience as a long term Katherine resident.
Craig was the inaugural Chairman of the Katherine Regional Cultural Precinct Limited and active in the design, planning, construct and operations of the centre since 2006. Craig was born and raised in Katherine and attended St. Johns College, Darwin, for High School. He completed BEc LLB at NTU and completed articles at Solicitor for the Northern Territory, practiced law for 5 years in the Native Title Unit before returning to Katherine to operate the family hardware retail business. The Lambert family is the founder of the Katherine Prize and is active in the arts community.
Dagoman Clan Representative
Joshua is a young Dagoman man, taking a Director position on the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre following his mother, who also represented the organisation for many years. His mother’s grandfather was old Nipper Nolgoyma, a Dagoman man from Katherine.
Wardaman Clan Representative
Yidumduma Bill Harney was born on Willaroo Station in Wardaman country in 1936. After a traditional upbringing he became a stockman, which led to many other occupations including saddler, mailman, crocodile shooter and fencer. Bill has managed his own tour operations to share his knowledge and culture about the land of the Lightening Brothers and is well-known nationally as a lawman, cultural artist and story teller. He manages his station on Wardaman land, training young men in station management, art and culture.
Jawoyn Clan Representative
Lisa was born and raised in Katherine. Lisa’s traditional country is Jawoyn country and she represents the Jawoyn clan on the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre Board. Lisa has provided cultural assistance throughout the development and operations of the centre and has represented the organisation locally, nationally and internationally at WOW (Women of the World) Festivals. Lisa is an active leader in many organisations such Kalano Community Association, Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service, the Northern Land Council, the Northern Land Council’s Women’s group and Aboriginal Benefits Account Board.
Jawoyn Clan Representative
Robert is a Jawoyn representative on the Board and has spent many years living at Werenbun and Katherine. He has worked at Mt Todd for the past 21 years and is currently working with Vista Gold as a Senior Technical Officer overseeing environmental aspects of the operation. Robert brings cultural expertise and knowledge of the Katherine Region and its people to the Board.
Wardaman Clan Representative
Sally grew up at Willeroo Station in Wardaman country and moved to Manbulloo Station to work. She now lives at Binjari, just outside of Katherine and is a strong advocate for maintaining culture with the young people today.
Dagoman Clan Representative
Jessie grew up in Katherine starting her working life as a School Assistant. She also worked for many years as a ranger in the Katherine region and has been an interpreter for the NLC for many years. During her time as a ranger, she co- wrote the 1993 Mt Todd agreement between Governments and the mining company and co-authored the Jawoyn Plant Identikit which is a well-used reference for tourists and schools in the Top End. Jessie, now retired, is a Dagoman representative on the Godinymayin Board and her deep knowledge of Katherine and its environment has been a valuable reference throughout the development of the centre.
Curator & Retail Manager
Kamahi Djordon King
Venue & Performance Manager
Retail & Front of House officer