Connecting Indigenous communities through architecture

2 Nov 2018

A University of Queensland PhD candidate is hoping to provide critical insights into how architecture could play a vital role in the lives of Indigenous children and elders.

Postgraduate architecture student Yim Eng Ng said creating shared spaces aimed at bringing Indigenous childcare and Indigenous residential aged care together could provide a positive boost to community education and relationships.

“My research explores whether these communal settings and spaces can be co-located to support intergenerational learning and sharing of Indigenous culture and knowledge,” Yim said.

“The elderly experience renewed vitality and are valued for their knowledge which, in turn, strengthens the community.

“The outcomes of this research can potentially influence the way designers and practitioners innovate and integrate cultural diversity into the design of the built environment.”

Yim will travel to rural areas to further her research, including towns such as Yulara in the southern region of the Northern Territory, thanks to UQ’s Ceridwen Indigenous Scholarship.

She hopes to gain a better understanding of both Mutitjulu and Docker River aged care and the models of care used for both facilities.

Yim will observe how childcare centres and community hubs, housed on the same site as a local aged care centre in Mutitjulu, incorporate intergenerational story telling.

“When it comes to intergenerational living, a one size fits all approach does not apply. There must be community consultation.

“Hopefully, this research will feed into practice and education and we will see change starting to occur.”