The shores of Lake Victoria retain one of the largest traditional Aboriginal burial sites in the country. Water storage in the lake is controlled by the authorities and grave sites are constantly eroded and exposed. The Barkindji Aboriginal Elders Group is responsible for the management and protection of these sites but they must travel long distances from Mildura and Wentworth and there are no accommodation or other facilities on site.
The brief from the Elders Group was for a meeting place, with a Keeping Place, facilities and temporary accommodation to allow them to care for their sites and potentially share their stories with visitors. The authorities offered an abandoned community hall overlooking the lake for this project.
The design was inspired by the large clam shells and wiry trees found at the lake. The shell protects its pearl and the trees provide shade for meeting and sharing stories.
The project incorporated curved walls of the local pink earth and a commemorative / interpretation of a tragic event in 1841 when 30 of the original Aboriginal inhabitants were massacred at the nearby Rufus River.
The authorities changed their priorities and constructed additional accommodation for their own staff and the meeting place was not built.