2010 - Gudorrka and Knuckeys Lagoon, NT

PROJECT: Media Box

LOCATION: Knuckeys Lagoon and Gudorrka, Darwin NT


COMPLETED: June 2010

DELIVERED: On time and on budget

FUNDING AGENCY: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

PROJECT PARTNERS: Darwin Regional CDEP, Ironbark Employment, Indigenous Community Volunteers, Aboriginal Development Foundation, Yilli Rreung Housing Aboriginal Corporation, Advanced Training, Work Ventures, Job Futures, AMITY, Palmerston Regional Business Association

INDUSTRY PARTNERS: Bowens Timber, Vinidex, LiteSteel Technologies, Modwood, BlueScope Steel, Bluey

In 2009 the Bower Studio team, mentored by Silas Gibson and George Stavrias, worked with local partners to create the ‘Media Box’ project in two Indigenous Town Camps Gudorrka and Knuckeys Lagoon. The Media Box consists of a 40 foot shipping container fitted out to house a number of computer workstations, a meeting room and a small library. The Media Box was designed to address the need for community members to have access to basic web based services, such as internet banking, online welfare self-management and other essential services. It also offers appropriate facilities for the external service providers who visit the communities, such as employment and health care providers.

Links with both communities and various supporting partners enabled the project to develop in conjunction with local training programs attended by members of the communities, equipping them with skills and training in various construction trades. At the same time the university students also completed construction training with the task of designing and building a small washroom on the test build site at the University’s Creswick Campus. A small roofed structure joined the growing collection of similar structures on the site necessitating that the exercise also encompassed a focus on place making. This involved the integration of the new structure within its context through consideration of siting, linkage between structures and simple landscape interventions to avoid the feeling of it being ‘a collection of structures’, issues that would become particularly relevant once up north.

On both sites the Media Boxes were located nearby to the existing community building. The consideration of the relationship between these buildings and their linkages to create a ‘Community Hub’ called for additional items such as outdoor seating, extensive shade areas and the incorporation of existing circulation patterns and functional uses.

Following the build, students returned to Melbourne armed with a growing body of knowledge and first-hand experience to develop proposals for the next Bower Studio project. The ideas and strategies that had now been tested through numerous builds and discussed with various Indigenous cohorts were implemented into a further set of project proposals.

Bower Studio thanks the people of Gudorrka and Knuckeys Lagoon for welcoming the team into their community.

COMMUNITY LEADERS: Phillip Goodman (Gudorrka), Ronnie Agnew (Knuckeys Lagoon) .

INDIGENOUS MENTORS: Rob Lewis, Rossie Cambell

LOCAL WORKERS: Dominique Bishop, Otto Phillips, Shaun Mackley, Adam Lyons, Joseph Patrick, Derek Lipo, Willi Dumoo Gaydon, Phillip Junglua, Neville Goodman, Jerry Dixon, William Lipo

STUDIO LEADERS: Dr David O’Brien, Hamish Hill

STUDENT MENTORS: Silas Gibson, George Stavrias

STUDENTS: Leah Bell, Reza Bolouri, Melinda Chan, Amy Clark, Beck De Haas, Jessie Fowler, Courtney Gibbs, Rosie Gunzberg, Alie Kennedy, Chin Lim, Fabian Prideaux, Jingyi Tan, Frank Vedelago, Stephanie Westbrook, Linlu Zhai

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