Murran opens in central Geelong

Gemma Evans, Bek Lasky (CEO Murran), Christine Couzens (MP), Vicki Ward (Minister for Employment), Nevadah Ooi-Cleary, Cormach Evans. (supplied)

A new hub called ‘Murran’ has officially opened in Geelong to cater for Aboriginal creatives and entrepreneurs.

The hub, on Wadawurrung Country, is at Westfield Geelong and includes retail space, art gallery, co-working space, event and conference centre and cafe.

The Allan Labor government invested $850,000 into the project.

The space has been designed for networking, mentoring, nurturing new ideas and growing local First Nations businesses.

Led by not-for-profit organisation Ngarrimili, the hub will create local employment and training opportunities and has a purpose built space for celebrating First Nations arts and culture.

Minister for Employment Vicki Ward visited the hub on Thursday December 14 for its official opening.

“We are excited by the opening of Murran – a space where First Nations people can come together to nurture new ideas, grow local businesses and create employment opportunities in the Geelong area,” she said.

“Spaces like this break down barriers to people getting involved, pursuing ideas and finding employment that is meaningful to them – creating a more inclusive and equitable future for Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

“Murran is the first of its kind, located in the heart of Geelong on Wadawurrung Country,” Ngarrimili chief executive Bek Lasky said.

“Murran will be a culturally inclusive and safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, and share stories from both local and interstate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, businesses and creatives for everyone to enjoy.”

Minister Ward also announced the Geelong Aboriginal Employment Taskforce will receive $120,000 funding to continue their work for the 2023/24 financial year, including identifying and developing employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and working with the public, private and community sectors to reduce barriers to employment.

Through the Yuma Yirramboi (Invest in Tomorrow) Strategy, the Victorian government will work closely with Aboriginal Victorians to support self-determination and achieve economic parity within a generation – with $25 million to support Aboriginal employment and business initiatives over the first two years of the strategy.