As part of our endeavour to engage more with the Alice Springs public and our followers, we would like to start the year giving you some insight into the Desert Knowledge Precinct (DKP), which sits on 73 hectares of spectacular Arrernte land just behind its huge red-dirt gates on South Stuart Highway.
The BIC welcomed over 1,700 visitors in 2019, who have engaged in opportunities for community development, mental health, education, desert research, knowledge sharing, business and digital innovation, and creative workshops.
The Precinct is also home to the Desert Peoples Centre, a joint venture between Batchelor Institute and CfAT, which was established to create new and productive learning.
Batchelor Institute is Australia’s only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dual sector tertiary education provider. The Institute administers a mainstream education system through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lens, incorporating Indigenous knowledges and ways of learning and Western knowledges and ways of learning.
The DKP with (clockwise from left) CfAT, the BIC, and Batchelor Institute.
CfAT is a not-for-profit organisation which supports people in regional and remote Australia in maintaining a relationship with country, by providing solutions to infrastructure challenges which primarily include reliable power, water supply, digital connectivity, built infrastructure, training and skills development.
CfAT’s vision is furthered by its commercial arm, Ekistica, which fulfils advisory, project development, engineering design and project delivery services. Ekistica provides professional advice and technical consultations to clients such as national and state governments, intergovernmental agencies and power utilities.
Satellite dishes on CfAT property sporting Arrernte and Lakota Sioux artwork.
The Precinct also houses the famed Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre (DKASC), the largest multi-technology solar demonstration facility in the Southern Hemisphere. The DKASC website provides the public with quality data about solar power. These open-access reports are accessed by over 10,000 annual users around the world, with a base composed of researchers, students and other members of the public interested in studying and better understanding solar-related technology and environmental factors.
Aerial view of the Desert Knowledge Precinct with the Solar Centre up front.
The Precinct gates are open Monday to Friday between 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, for anyone curious enough to cruise through and take a peek at the Solar Centre or any of the other facilities.
You could also stop by G.A.P.’s Kitchen, the Precinct café, which is sure to have something to suit your fancy. Whether you’re in the mood for a scrumptious lunch, or a coffee and baked goodies, Gavin, Archie & Penny (G.A.P.) will be delighted to have you drop in.
Visitors can even pre-book a tour through the Edutourism program and have an expert talk you through some exciting desert knowledge which combines ancient Aboriginal knowledges with the newest STEAM research. Although the program is designed for students in Upper Primary, Middle, Senior and Tertiary programs, it can be tailored for other groups on request.
Whether it’s at a community event, an educational chat as we take you through a tour, or even a friendly wave as you pass through the Precinct, DKA is looking forward to seeing you all this year. The team wishes you a prosperous 2020!