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.
Craig is the inaugural Chairman of the Katherine Regional Cultural Precinct Limited and has been 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.
Jo originally came from Runanga, in the South Island of New Zealand and has lived and worked in Katherine and the wider region for the past 30 years. Jo is an active volunteer on several committees and is keenly interested in education, health, the arts, cultural maintenance, environment, community development, capacity building and Youth Development. Jo considers herself fortunate to be surrounded by rich culture and strong women who have educated and nurtured her to enjoy a deep appreciation of the arts. Jo is a Northern Territory Government representative on the board.
John de Koning
Northern Territory Government Representative
John has lived in the Northern Territory for over 35 years, building valuable networks throughout the Katherine region through his work with both the Northern Territory and the Australian governments. He has worked predominantly in National Parks and Natural Resource management and over the past 10 years with regional strategic management and regional community development with the Northern Territory Government. John is now retired, but has remained on the board as a Northern Territory Government representative.
Toni Tapp Coutts
Katherine Town Council Representative
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.
Phil has had a lifetime of rich and diverse experiences through his personal and working life. He first worked with the Northern Territory Government in Katherine in 2005 as Maintenance Manager for the Department of Infrastructure, progressing to Regional Manager in 2008 and Regional Director in 2010. During this time Phil was involved in the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre, progressing the development of the project through to the commencement of the building as the NTG representative. After some time in Western Australia between 2011 and 2015, Phil returned to Katherine as Senior Director, Northern Region, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics. Phil has committed to the operation and development of Godinymayin as a community representative.
Rachana has lived in Katherine for the last 3 years, during which time she has been a civil lawyer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. Regular travel to remote communities for work began to introduce her to the richness of art and storytelling in the Katherine region. Rachana has experience in legal services, government and community organisations. She is passionate about access to justice, indigenous rights and health, as well as learning about language, art and culture.
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