This research project aims to unpack and explore the ways in which spatial practice and design can help break the cycle of disadvantage and trauma for Indigenous youth who are involved in both the child protection and justice systems.

By enabling Indigenous youth to participate in community-centred design practices, as well as in an inclusive setting, creates positive pathways and reduces youth participating in at-risk behaviours. In turn, this will provide safer communities, culturally responsive programs and aid in the protection of a new generation of first-nation peoples being reconnected to country and culture.

Aboriginal Yarning circle- central point of design.

When revisiting the first knowledges that our Aboriginal Elders have taught us, the symbolism of a circle represents a never ending connection of life and meeting place. Nestled among the trees, this design has been centred around an Aboriginal “Yarning circle”. Traditional Aboriginal Yarning circles have been used to encourage group discussions, building respect and keeping and passing on cultural knowledge; they have been adopted and modified in the broader community to deal with mental health and wellbeing issued among young people. The shape of this centre follows this circle and overlooks the landscape with a 360 degree perspective.

Long sectional perspective throughout design.

A place for social and cultural connection.

Education and connection to land.

Education and connection to land. The process in designing this cultural youth centre and aligning values and consideration to resourcefulness of Aboriginal culture, is important to consider as an ecologically sustainable design with regard to materials, which are locally sourced and create minimal impact upon the environment. I have been strongly influenced and inspired to make considerations using ecologically sound forestry techniques, such as sourcing and using local native timbers for construction, as well as the planting of locally native species in a native garden.

Propositional Youth Community Centre social media

My media component is propositional as the design of Koolkuna youth centre is created as an Instagram platform intended for youth communication, having digital access to both this space and its facilities. This media component hosts event notifications for the entire community. Koolkuna youth centre will be able to provide daily updates of news within the community, have ongoing contact with youth mentors and guest speakers. This media component is a virtual way of bringing this design to an accessible platform for youth and families requiring more information and community support.
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