in 1999, the University of South Australia and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) were invited to collaborate in various design projects in and around the Aboriginal community of Warburton, WA. This was the first engagement that the Design Construct program had with Indigenous communities, which has since led to many more successful projects. 

This inaugural project was the design and construction of a visitor’s centre and gallery for the Patjarr Aboriginal Community (pronounced Pat-arr) that would house artwork and artefacts of the community. Patjarr is one of Australia's most remote Aboriginal communities at over 2500km from Adelaide, requiring the project team to develop specialised methods of prefabrication, transportation and construction to cater for the long distances, extremely rough roads and the arid desert environment.

In 2002, the Patjarr Community Visitor’s Centre project was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Community Service by the University of South Australia for services rendered to the Patjarr Aboriginal Community. The project was completed in 2003. In 2004, the Patjarr Aboriginal Community Visitor’s Centre was awarded the Colorbond Steel Award by the Australian Institute of Architects. 


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Location Barbara Hanrahan Building (4-27), UniSA City West Campus, Adelaide, SA, Australia