Architectural model of ‘Girrawaa Creative Work Centre at Bathurst Jail’

Made by Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1998.

Merrima in association with the museum are the designers of the Bayagulllhibition. Merrima is staffed by two architects and an interior designer who work solely on Indigenous projects. In 1999 they received an award from the Institute of Architects for their work on the Girrawaa Creative Work Centre at Bathurst jail. The consultation process undertaken with the Indigenous communities that these buildings were built for is extremely important so that it reflects their cultural needs. These models...


Object No.


Physical Description

The architectural model of 'Girrawaa Creative Work Centre at Bathurst Jail'. It features a sandy coloured board on which the model is built. The building design is based on the shape of a goanna. On the top end of the model the roof is shaped like the head of a goanna with a strong point jutting out, which could be the goanna's tongue. The buliding grows wider in the middle to represent the main body of the goanna and then gradually gets thinner. At the end of the building a walk way is adjoined which curves around in a semi-circle and joins a large circle at the front of the building. On the other side of the building is a similar but significantly smaller circle. Around the edge of the building are a few scattered trees to represent the landscape.



240 mm


920 mm



The Girrawaa Creative Work Centre was designed by Indigenous architect Dillon Kombumerri of Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit for the Indigenous inmates at Bathurst jail. Through his extensive consultation with the inmates they came up with a basis design of a goanna, which is the totem of the local Wiradjuri community.
Dillon states: 'What the boys at the jail did was, they talked it through. They said what they wanted as their cultural expression. I was just an interpreter'.
Source: The Australian, Monday January 10 2000.

This model was made by the Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit in Sydney.

This model was made in 1998.


Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit 1998


Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit null



To provide the client with a scaled model of the what the buliding will look like when finished.


Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit


Credit Line

Purchased 2000

Acquisition Date

19 June 2000

Cite this Object


Architectural model of 'Girrawaa Creative Work Centre at Bathurst Jail' 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 March 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Architectural model of 'Girrawaa Creative Work Centre at Bathurst Jail' |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 March 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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