Cultural centre proposed for Boort

By Lauren Henry
Updated November 7 2012 - 3:29am, first published December 14 2010 - 9:43am

A PROPOSED cultural and environmental centre in Boort could be an avenue for the Loddon Shire town to retrieve Aboriginal artefacts valued at $4.5 million from the British Museum.The proposal for the multimillion dollar centre includes an art gallery, a regional museum, accommodation, a cafe and gift store to sell regional produce, and educational and conference facilities. Tourist attractions such as environmental tours, educational programs for school children, including holiday activities and camps and bicycle and boat hire, would be linked to the centre.The project is a revamped and more multipurpose design than the cultural interpretative centre proposed for the shores of Lake Boort after a 2006 feasibility study. The Loddon Shire will contribute $10,000 to a new feasibility study, expected to cost $30,000.A project steering committee will include representatives from the Boort Development Committee, Boort Arts and Culture Committee, Boort Tourist Committee, the Dja Dja Wurrung community and Loddon Shire Council.Boort Development Committee secretary Sue Forster said the centre would be a place to exhibit local history, in particular indigenous and early white settlers.Ms Forster said the Dja Dja Wurrung people wanted to be able to display the artefacts, an etched bark painting and emu ceremonial headdress, that were in the British Museum.She said Boort people also hoped the centre would house the photographs of John Hunter Kerr, of Fernihurst, who took the first black and white photographs in Australia.

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