Temporary Entrance to Signal Point Experience Centre

Due to construction work, the entrance to the Signal Point Experience Centre and the 'Yuntulun Ku:li-war' exhibition is via the Wharf Barrel Shed.

Work is currently being done to upgrade the front deck and the solar shelter at the rear of the Signal Point Experience Centre.

The public entry will continue to be through the Wharf Barrel Shed located at the rear of the Signal Point Experience Centre.

For tourist information about Yuntulun Ku:li-war, go to the Visit Alexandrina website.

Yuntulun Ku:li-war at the Signal Point Experience Centre

The renewal of Goolwa’s iconic Signal Point building as a multi-purpose experience centre is almost complete with the new exhibition ‘Yuntulun Ku:li-war’ now open. ‘Yuntulun Ku:li-war’ tells the stories of the Ngarrindjeri people of this area, the early settlement history of Goolwa as a major river port and the ecology of the Murray Darling River system. The building works and exhibition have been funded by Council with grant support from the Australian Government and the Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

Signal Point building is proudly supported by the Australian Government


The Project

In June 2020, the Australian Government and Government of South Australia announced funding for the revitalisation of the Goolwa Wharf Precinct, including upgrades to the Signal Point building as Stage 1.

In July 2021, the Signal Point building received $980,000, funded by the Australian Government under the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program (Round 3), to create a state-of-the-art Experience Centre. This exciting project would include the design and internal fit-out of the Signal Point building and an interpretive storytelling exhibition, to be known as Yuntulun Ku:li-war. The Experience Centre will showcase First Nations and colonial heritage, local produce and arts, and activate the building.

Currently work is being undertaken on the front canopy and a  solar shelter at the rear of the building.

Solar Shelter: An undercover loading area at the back of the building that will provide improved access for large vehicles to load and unload deliveries. The loading area will contain improved drainage, a concrete set down area, plus a ramp down to the access door. The area will be covered by a standalone roof with solar panels placed on top to provide green energy to the building.

Front Canopy:  The front deck area to the Signal Point building will be covered with a unique canopy to provide protection from the weather for visitors congregating on the deck and using the lower level main entrance. The canopy will have roofing panels that allow natural dispersed light to permeate the area.

Yuntulun Ku:li-war - Coming Together on the Headland

Come and discover ‘Yuntulun Ku:li-war’ – which translates to ‘Coming together on the headland’ in Ngarrindjeri. This is the experience that awaits you in the newly fitted-out exhibition at the redeveloped Signal Point Gallery building.  Watch the video to find out more.

Yuntulun Ku:li-war
Come and discover ‘Yuntulun Ku:li-war’ – which translates to ‘Coming together on the headland’ in Ngarrindjeri. This is the experience that will await you in the newly fitted-out exhibition at the redeveloped Signal Point Gallery building.

‘Yuntulun Ku:li-war’ is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a captivating showcase of ancient and living culture.

Dive into the rich history of the riverport and explore interactive environmental-themed displays.

The Signal Point Experience Centre stands as the jewel in the crown within the Goolwa Wharf Precinct. It’s not just a building; it’s a centrepiece for sharing the history and significance of this special place. It is a launch pad to the diverse experiences that await you in the greater Alexandrina region.

Alexandrina Council received $980,000 in grant funding from the Australian Government’s Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Grant funding program (Round 3) to create this state-of-the- art exhibition in the Experience Centre.

The creation of the Experience Centre is part of the renewal and upgrade of the Signal Point building which marks Stage 1 of the ambitious Goolwa Wharf Precinct Project.

Stage 2 will bring the precinct to life with the activation of the 12 sites and upgrades to the wharf and wharf shed.

This monumental $17.4 million capital project is made possible with $3.75 million in funding from the Australian Government and an additional $1.25 million from the Government of South Australia.

Join us on this journey of transformation!

The Project

In July 2021, the Goolwa Wharf Precinct’s Signal Point building received $980,000 which was funded by the Australian Government under the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program (Round 3) to create a state-of-the-art exhibition for an 'Experience Centre'.

This exciting project will include the design and internal fit-out of the Signal Point Experience Centre and an interpretive storytelling centre to enhance visitor experience. The Centre will showcase indigenous and colonial heritage, local produce and arts, and activate the building space.

The Signal Point building is an icon of the Goolwa Wharf Precinct and will be the centrepiece for sharing history and significance of place, and act as a launch pad into the surrounding experiences on offer in the greater Alexandrina region. The fit-out will encapsulate and leverage the building’s unique location overlooking the mighty Murray River, a river system that is symbolic and significant for the River Port Town of Goolwa for its social and economic wellbeing.

The refurbished building works will include display systems, joinery and the latest technology (screens, iPads, and headsets) to provide the physical environment to support future employment creation in the region, and in particular providing opportunities for local Ngarrindjeri-led businesses to be created.

Click the below image to see the Summary Fact Sheet.

Project benefits

The project will deliver progressive and functional facilities and unlock strong opportunities for economic growth and business expansion through increased public awareness of the area’s rich history and opportunity for recreational visitation and will capture and tell the rich stories surrounding the Goolwa Wharf precinct and its waters. The stories will be based on place, culture, economy and environment; and themed against a timeline stretching from ‘deep time’ origins, linkages to Ngarrindjeri and their connection to place and water, through to colonisation and the role the wharf, wooden boats, steam and rail played in opening up Australia’s first export trade opportunities.

The internal upgrade of the Signal Point building will complement and leverage the initial investment as part of the existing Goolwa Wharf Precinct Project which includes replacing the roof and adding solar panels to the building, installing an air handling system and landscaping the forecourt to improve the connection between the building and the Wharf. The Wharf directional wayfinding component of the Goolwa Wharf Precinct Project, funded by Council and with the support of the Australian and South Australian Governments will improve visitor linkages with the Centre.

Upgrades to the building will ensure the rich history and authentic stories are shared and celebrated in a meaningful way.

The Signal Point building is a key and recognisable feature of the Precinct and will continue to serve as a landmark offering expression, education and entertainment.

Council’s co-contribution to the project will show further support for our region’s visitor economy and growth of local businesses. It is anticipated that the project will open to the public in early 2024.

This project will provide significant benefits to Goolwa and the wider communities, promoting the region as an ideal tourist destination and playing an integral role in the preservation of the region's cultural history. The internal fit out will complement and complete the Signal Point building works currently scheduled as part of the Goolwa Wharf Precinct Project.

View the FAQs here.

Project Design

The project team have been working with Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation Representatives along with local stakeholders and historians to develop concept level design for the Signal Point Experience Centre. Efforts have focussed on layout, electrical/communications approach and built components that support an immersive and memorable experience through lighting, sound and dimension that work with the architecture of the building. At the same time, ongoing workshops are being held to refine the exhibition story telling narrative.

The Signal Point Experience Centre design imagery includes Ngarrindjeri imagery from various productions used with the agreement of the production owner, Change Media.  If you would like more information or to view the productions, please visit http://www.ngarrindjeri-culture.org/video

Project Update

What have we been busy doing?

The Signal Point Experience Centre project includes a fit out of the lower ground floor with a contemporary, storytelling exhibition that explores the history of the Goolwa Wharf Precinct, including Ngarrindjeri connection to place, riverboat history and trade and the importance of the river system and preservation for future generations.

To deliver this project, Council has established an integrated project team, including local exhibition design and construction company, Exhibition Studios.  Since October 2021, the project team has been working to collate stories of the Goolwa Wharf and develop a design for the exhibition structure to support multiple screens and other electronic devices, including a specially designed suspended lighting rig.

Work has been undertaken to assess how the space can best be utilised to deliver a quality visitor experience, whilst maintaining the vista and connection to the Goolwa Wharf. Additionally, an assessment of the internal building requirements has been undertaken to understand what works will need to be done to the internal area of the building to support the exhibition such as electrical and communications upgrades.

At the same time, a key focus for the project team has been on developing the exhibition content.

Working together to create a storytelling experience

A Steering Group, made up of Council personnel, Elected Member representatives, an Environmental Specialist from the South Australian Department of Environment and Water and community members was formed in late 2021.  The group works with the project team to compile stories of the Goolwa Wharf and to guide the storytelling exhibition narrative.

The Steering Group includes prominent, local historian, Mr Frank Tuckwell OAM.  Frank has been a National Trust member for over 40 years, during which time he established a heritage standing committee within the Goolwa Branch to provide advice to local government on heritage matters.  Frank has also got a 40-year-old connection to Signal Point, having been the Director of the Signal Point Interpretative Centre (1989-1996), which opened as part of the 1988 Australian bicentenary celebrations.

Other members of the project Steering Group include Mr Roly Bartlett OAM, renowned for his knowledge of steamboats and the history of riverboat trade on the Murray River and Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation (RTNB), Chief Executive, Mr Tim Hartman. Tim is playing a key role in helping to connect the project team with local Ngarrindjeri arts and language leaders.

The group meets on a regular basis to discuss the progress of the narrative with the project team, review design development and provide feedback and guidance on how best to capture the spirit of Goolwa’s unique heritage and river ecology.

Ngarrindjeri Design Workshops

*Design workshop with local Ngarrindjeri artist, Mr Cedric Varcoe at the South Coast Regional Arts Centre

The Signal Point Experience Centre will celebrate Ngarrindjeri connection to the wharf area and surrounds, sharing stories of how this place has always been and continues to be a place of cultural significance.  The project team is working with Ngarrindjeri Nation representatives to co-design elements of the exhibition, to share history from a Ngarrindjeri perspective through truth-telling and explore the sophisticated environmental and living cultural practices of Ngarrindjeri such as weaving and storytelling.

Works from local artists will be commissioned to form part of the exhibition and will be incorporated into the displays and interactives.


Weaving

The Ngarrindjeri word for weaving is Laken. Weaving is an important form of cultural expression for Ngarrindjeri men and women and forms part of contemporary Ngarrindjeri culture.  Bulrushes, reeds and sedges are used for basket-weaving, and to make nets, bags and other tools.  The Signal Point Experience Centre exhibition will further explore the history and practice of weaving, as well as showcase works from local weaving artists.


Engagement Workshops

Council would like to thank those community members and industry specialists that attended engagement workshops in July and August.   The workshops offered an opportunity for the project team to share the preliminary exhibition design and collect insights and feedback that will inform the next stage of work.

What did we hear?

Goolwa’s heritage is a great asset.

Goolwa Wharf’s history is unique and what makes Goolwa special for community and visitors alike.  Signal Point Experience Centre is an opportunity to create excitement and interest that can be complimented by other experiences on the wharf.

Balance electronic storytelling with tactile experiences. 

Curiosity and excitement are driven by experiencing history in a variety of ways.  The exhibition should include elements that can be experienced in a range of ways, including touch, sound and smell.

Recognise and celebrate Ngarrindjeri connection to Country.

Share history from a Ngarrindjeri perspective and immerse visitors to the exhibition in language and culture.

The river needs to be cherished and respected.

The Murray River has supported community for hundreds of years. Signal Point Experience Centre should be the beginning of a journey to learn more about protecting the river and its flora and fauna.

What is tactile, experience-based storytelling?

Tactile, experience-based storytelling includes displays that encourage visitors (of all ages) to handle artefacts (models or replicas) and /or take part in games or activities that involve multiple senses.  This kind of experience offers an opportunity for visitors to engage with history in a way that suits them and their learning styles.

Next Steps

The exhibition Yuntulun Ku:li-war is now open at the Signal Point Experience Centre.

More Information

Council has developed a Fact Summary Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions for the Signal Point Experience Centre project.  Please visit Council’s website www.alexandrina.sa.gov.au to view this information.  If you would like to provide feedback, please call or email:

Call (08) 8555 7000

Email signalpoint@alexandrina.sa.gov.au

This exhibition was funded by the Australian Government under the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

The Alexandrina Council region intersects with the traditional lands of the following Aboriginal Nations and Clan, Ngarrindjeri Kukabrak (Nation), Ramindjeri lakinyeri (Clan of the Ngarrindjeri Nation), Peramangk Kukabrak (Nation), Kaurna Yerta (Country). In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this region and acknowledge their connections to the land, waters, and community.