News & Media

Ngargee – Victoria’s Brand New Arts Space Gets A Name

Victoria’s newest arts space threw its doors open to the public today as part of an official opening ceremony by the Premier, Steve Bracks. Mr Bracks said the new centre, to be known as Ngargee, in South Melbourne, was an exciting part of the ongoing development of the arts precinct. “This is a great day and a great new space that belongs to all Victorians. We now have a striking new landmark,” he said. “This $12 million centre is the latest addition to Australia’s premier arts precinct right here at Southbank.” Mr Bracks said there was more to come in the precinct, with planning underway for both the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch recital hall and a new home for the Melbourne Theatre Company. Ngargee was used in the opening of Playbox’s Black Inside season and had a direct link to the traditional owners of the land the centre now occupied, he said. “The name Ngargee has an ancient history. It honours this history of place and reflects the purpose of the new centre,” he said. “It’s a word that for thousands of years has been used in this area by the Boonerwrung people to mean ‘gathering for celebration in dance, story and song’ – this centre helps keep that spirit alive. “The last of the great Ngargees was held at Emerald Hill, not far from this site in the 1850s.” Mr Bracks said Ngargee brought together the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Victoria’s contemporary dance company Chunky Move with Playbox – Melbourne’s contemporary theatre company. “ACCA had grown too big for its premises and this building proclaims a new era for presenting the art of our time,” Mr Bracks said. Mr Bracks said the architects, Roger Wood and Randal Marsh, should praised for their vision and commitment to the building. The Bracks Government committed $10.3 million to the project. Additional funding was sourced from major sponsors Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration, Monash University, Carlton & United, Dimity Reed, BHP Steel and the Besen Family Foundation.