Achimbun, Weipa, North Qld, 2000

Achimbun is a reconciliation project involving the town of Weipa (Cape York, Far North Queensland), its neighbouring Aboriginal communities of Napranum, Arukun and Mapoon. The Centre functions as both an interpretive and visitor information centre, as well as a community event space, and is master-planned to incorporate a future cafe.

The building is the pre-existing ‘Stubby Hut’ of the immediate region’s bauxite mines’ days of consolidation at Weipa. It is sited at the wide mouth of the Embley River with impressive views. A gret vent with 1/4 pryramidal roof is inserted into the existing structure with a water-trap sail that discharges to an interpretive ‘billabong’. Standard-issue lift-up doors provide night-time security, but otherwise maintain the Stubby Hut’s broad gulf view. Slat screens and verandahs interact with external interpretive areas.

The Centre interprets the cultural, landscape and economic characteristics of the region. From inception, all work on the project was carried out in a team approach with David Lancashire Design as Interpretive Designer.

Under funding from the Queensland Governement’s Heritage Trails program, labour, management, trade skills and material resources for the project were provided from within the communities.

Timbers are all sourced from the local bush and milled at Napranum, and local bauxite mud was used to render masonry. Reception and fit out items include scrap metal from the mine tip and mangrove sticks.