A reserve at Brocklehurst will soon be transformed into a hub for Indigenous education featuring an arts and crafts studio and healthy café.
Not-for-profit Pathways Together Aboriginal Corporation has been appointed as manager of the 1.13-hectare crown reserve, just north of Dubbo, and it has an ambitious vision for the space.
"We have big plans and now we have been appointed to manage the reserve we can move forward to make our vision come true," Rob Riley, the organisation's founder, said.
"The reserve will provide a chance to be on country and learn about native plants, growing food, making tools, and teaching Wiradjuri culture to anyone who wants to learn, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, while closing the gap in a safe place with a mix of traditional and modern culture
"We will have outdoor fitness, a café to cook healthy foods, and hope to establish tennis courts and cricket nets to engage young people and, who knows, perhaps produce the next Aboriginal cricket star or Australian Open champion."
Pathways Together Aboriginal Corporation works with communities to help preserve Aboriginal culture and provide support programs to help individuals and families achieve their goals.
The corporation operates a native nursery as part of its many activities that focus on education, employment, mental health and well-being. They also run the Murru Youth Program which supports young Aboriginal people by teaching leadership and life skills.
Upper House member Stephen Lawrence, a Dubbo local, praised the work Pathways Together Aboriginal Corporation
"Positive initiatives such as this play an important role in empowering local communities in activities which promote greater cultural knowledge sharing and closing the gap," he said.
Mr Riley said the corporation will use Brocklehurst reserve to expand its programs and teach how to use traditional knowledge to care for country. It will also produce and teach arts and crafts, Aboriginal implements, furniture and native plant propagation.
Aboriginal affairs minister David Harris said programs like these are "vital" for local communities.
"This is an amazing example of Aboriginal communities supporting the empowerment of their young people through the continuous practice of Aboriginal culture and connection to Country," Mr Harris said.
"Cultural empowerment underpins the ongoing strength and resilience of Aboriginal people in sustaining the world's oldest living culture. It is also critical in addressing the socio-economic targets in the Close the Gap agreement."
Minister for lands and property Steve Kamper said the Indigenous education hub would be a great use for the land.
"It's fantastic to hear these plans to put the Brocklehurst reserve to good use to achieve positive community outcomes for the Dubbo region," Mr Kamper said.
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens. Download in the Apple Store or Google Play.