The DREAMTIME CULTURAL CENTRE is situated on the northern outskirts of Rockhampton on the Bruce Highway, six kilometres from the city. The centre is set on 12 hectares of land which is divided by Limestone Creek.
The Rockhampton City Council and the Central Queensland Aboriginal Corporation for Cultural Activities entered into an agreement, which provides long term tenure for the centre.
The property is attractively landscaped on the northern side of Limestone Creek with native plants, trees and a large waterfall. The waterfall provides a stunning backdrop for any function, whilst the gardens are part of an interpretive walk available to visitors.
It is recognised that the original occupants of the land were the Darambal Tribe who have now almost disappeared. The choice of this particular piece of land is therefore appropriate as it still contains the traditional “ceremonial rings” of the Darambal Tribe.
On the 9 April 1988, the former Prime Minister of Australia, The honourable Mr R.J Hawke AC MP, officially opened the DREAMTIME CULTURAL CENTRE.
On the 5 November 1988, Mr George Mye MBE officially opened the Torres Strait Islander complex. This complex expanded again in March, 1992 with the opening of the Dugong complex by her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent GCVO on the 1st of March 1992.
To the northern side of Limestone Creek is the Centre’s main building, appropriately named the Nola James Building. Nola was Cultural Director of the centre from 1984 to 1993 until her untimely passing. Nola dedicated her life to the presentation of Aboriginal culture and to the introduction and education of all Australians to Indigenous history.
In this building there is the:
- Bimbi Artefacts shop – a retail outlet to purchase authentic Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artefacts and souvenirs
- Fully secured storage area for valuable and sacred material
- Board room and Staff Training area
- Centre’s Administration
- 2 Conference facility areas
Also on site is the DARAMBAL CONVENTION CENTRE. This building was opened on the 7th of August 1994 by the former Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commision, Lois O’Donoghue CBE, AM. This facility is a first class conference venue. Its popularity in the Central Qld area attests to this.
North of the main building there is the Ted Mitchell Gallery. Ted, like Nola, was a driving force behind the centre’s completion. This museum presently contains the VANISHING CULTURE OF THE SANDSTONE BELT DISPLAY which depicts a remarkable display of the traditional people of the Central Qld Sandstone Belt and their culture – all presented in 34 metres of reconstructed sandstone caves.
Grounds to the south west of the main building feature:
- The Torres Strait Islander’s Complex includes huts, the giant dugong and plants particular to the Torres Strait
- The Aboriginal Traditional area with replica burial site, rock art, gunyahs and traditional ceremonial sites of the Darambal people