Gwoonwardu Mia Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre, is a multipurpose centre that celebrates the culture and country of the five Aboriginal language groups of the Gascoyne Region. Based in Carnarvon, the centre has worked with people from each of the local language groups to celebrate and share their stories and culture. 

The centre features an interpretive centre, Burlganyja Wanggaya – Old People Talking – listen, learn and respect. This multi-award winning permanent interactive exhibition unites and reflects the culture and stories of the five Aboriginal language groups of the region; Yinggarda, Bayungu, Malgana, Thadgari and Thalanyji. As you walk through the interpretive centre, you’ll explore many themes ranging from stories of the land to the ancient and continuing culture of the region, through to station stories and tales from Carnarvon town. Explore exhibits like the Sky Dome, which showcases a timelapse video of a starry sky, with commentary about the ancient art of stargazing for the Aboriginal community. Learn more about the incredible giant, burrowing bees and marvel at the range of artefacts and objects on display.

At the centre, you’ll also find an art gallery with local artists pieces on display plus a beautiful ethnobotanical garden.

Come and explore the displays and exhibitions and meet our friendly team.


In 1996, five local language groups including Bayungu, Inggarda, Thalanji, Thudgarri and Malgana people came together to lodge the first Native Title Claim over the whole of the Gascoyne region of WA. The Gnulli (meaning “all of us”) claim was lodged and sought the right to negotiate over this area. A land use agreement between the State of WA, the Shire of Carnarvon and Gnulli was signed in November 1997 for the purpose of subdivisional development for housing, commercial, tourism and community purposes under the name Carnarvon Fascine.

The Land Use Agreement is about:

  • Supporting the Gascoyne Development Commission, AEDO program.
  • Provision of employment, training and contract opportunities to Indigenous persons in connection with carrying out of the Carnarvon Fascine project.
  • Identification and naming of the proposed street, park and places.
  • The suitable land exchange for the purpose of an Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Advisory Committee

The Gwoonwardu Mia and WA Museum Advisory Committee links Gwoonwardu Mia with the communities it serves.  It is a “two-way” liaison: representing the community to Gwoonwardu Mia and acting as an advocate for Gwoonwardu Mia in the community.

The Advisory Committee meets 3 to 4 times per year to consider and support the general business. There are a maximum of twelve committee member positions available and appointments are for a term of four years and are subject to approval by the Trustees of the Western Australian Museum.


Our friendly team can’t wait to welcome you to Gwoonwardu Mia. Here’s a bit about us so you can put a name to the face when you arrive! You can contact our team here.

Barry Bellotti, Regional Manager Business & Strategy

Martu Malgana Ngarluma-Yindjibarndi

Barry’s cultural links are Martu / Ngarluma-Yindjibarndi on his mother’s side, and Malgana on his father’s side.

He was born in Carnarvon and has a wealth of experience in education and training through his previous role at TAFE. Barry worked alongside Aboriginal community groups and other important stakeholders to improve employment opportunities for all people within the Gascoyne region.

One of Barry’s passions is to empower Aboriginal fathers to become better versions of themselves. He has facilitated successful men’s programs in previous partnerships with Mental Health, PCYC and Ngala. Barry plans to support community led initiatives that provide opportunities to all Aboriginal people.   

Barry also appreciates all forms of Aboriginal art and is keen to expand the Gwoonwardu Mia art gallery to entail more local artwork.  

Carleen Ryder, Operations Manager Engagement and Events


Carleen was born in Carnarvon and has lived here all her life. She is Malgana through her father’s side and Wadjarri on her mother’s side. Carleen is a self-taught artist, specialising in creating abstract art, using colour palettes inspired by her love for the sea and the vibrant colours of the outback.

Carleen said: “I love the relaxed lifestyle of living on the Gascoyne coast, where the climate is always perfect and I can enjoy fishing, camping and spending time with my family.”

Tiahna Oxenham, Project Officer

Rennee Turner, Engagement Assistant


Rennee is a Yinggarda woman, born and raised here in Gwoonwardu (Carnarvon).

As a proud traditional custodian, she has turned her passion for culture and country into becoming an indigenous tour guide operator/owner, showcasing our ancient and breathtaking bunna (country).

Rennee says being on country with my family, be it up the coast or out bush, is my all and everything. As it keeps our connection to our culture and old people alive!!

Kiara Cooyou, Engagement Assistant


I am Baiyungu on my mother side, Njamal on my father side, born in Perth but grew up in Carnarvon my whole life. I love fishing, being on country with my family and I enjoy working here meeting new people, learning new skills.

Gianna Lawrence, Administrative Assistant


I am the Administrative Assistant at Gwoonwardu Mia, this job means so much to me as I can share my culture and its history with visitors from all over the world. I was born and raised in Carnarvon and cannot see myself moving away. I am a Malgana/ Yamatji woman.

My hobbies include going to the beach on the weekend with my friends and going to the horse races from May through to September, my family has been involved in the racing industry for 100 plus years covering the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Murchison regions. I love Carnarvon for its relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, perfect weather and beautiful scenery.