Lovell Chen has been working with Tasmanian Aboriginal organisation Ochre-Rain on various projects for the University of Tasmania (UTAS), and developing a close relationship along the way. For National Reconciliation Week this year, we invited Ochre-Rain’s AJ King and Dr Grant Finlay to join us on Wurundjeri Country for an in-house consultation.
The collaboration with Ochre-Rain at UTAS has enabled our architecture team to work on embedding First Nations cultural knowledge and practice into the planning and design work — part of our ongoing commitment to positive action, accountability and co-design. The heritage team is exploring ways to incorporate indigenous place history and First Nations stories into reports and interpretation plans.
AJ King (right) and Dr Grant Finlay of Ochre-Rain, talking with Lovell Chen
Associate Charlotte Jenkins, who organised the consultation with our RAP working group, describes the beginning of the day: “AJ and Grant shared their stories, and we shared ours — in particular on what brought each of us to Naarm (Melbourne) and about our individual daily journeys within Country.”
The many discussions that followed provided insightful guidance on best practice approaches and underlined that although much of our work is with post-Colonial structures, they are on what is and always will be Aboriginal land.
Charlotte: “Our work has a direct impact on the land’s use and the future of specific places. Understanding the stories of Country and taking a Walk on Country as part of project work is essential to best practice, and establishes connection with Traditional owners and their values.”
Many thanks to AJ and Grant. We are very grateful to them for sharing their stories and knowledge with us. We look forward to continuing and growing our friendship with Ochre-Rain.
Ochre-Rain is an Aboriginal-owned social enterprise based in Nipaluna (Hobart) that works to address inequality, improve and build capacity within communities, and heal Country.