Feasibility Study and Business Case for new Aboriginal Centre and tourism experiences

Shellharbour City Council asked us to prepare a feasibility study for a Coastal Aboriginal Interpretive Centre. The objectives of this project were to:

  • Identify options for a Keeping Place, leading Aboriginal interpretation experiences, Interpretation Centre, and governance model to service them
  • Choose the most superior option(s) for the core Aboriginal interpretation experience(s), location of a Centre and governance model to service them
  • Determine the feasibility of three selected sites for the superior options to be located
  • Recommend which site is the most feasible for a Business Case to be prepared

Aboriginal Interpretation Centres have a chequered history of success – not attracting many visitors, being expected to cover their own costs and struggling to do so. Similar Centres have demonstrated poor historic performance in attracting many visitors and operating on a break even basis – those that have, needed almost a decade to get there. We developed three ‘Wow Factor’ experiences:

  1. Bush Tucker Tour linking middens, keeping place, Killalea and Bass Point and Aboriginal seafood collection, cooking, eating & storytelling
  2. Night-time storytelling & cultural performance around camp fire
  3. Overnight camping accommodation experience that includes some traditional food and storytelling around camp fire

An interpretation centre (building) was concepted to operate as the arrival point and the centrepiece of the operation. The building would include:

  • Orientation display space
  • Keeping Place
  • Modest sized retail and ticketing space
  • Education room
  • General purpose meeting room
  • Kiosk / basic kitchen and indoor seating area
  • Modest office space
  • Storage space
  • Outdoor fire pit and horseshoe seating around it

We undertook a feasibility study that included assessing three sites, determining development costs and preparing visitation and financial forecasts. We provided a frank and clear conclusion on the need for ongoing deficit funding, which Council was extremely grateful for.

Shellharbour City Council