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During September 2010 I travelled to Hope Vale, Queensland, to build an Ablutions Block, consisting of two bathrooms, two toilets, and a laundry. The Ablutions Block is a services building and is intended to be part of a larger project that includes a Community Development and Training Centre on the property owned by Neville and Thea Bowen.

The Ablutions Block is Phase 1 of this project. Phase 2 of the project will be to build the Development and Training Centre as designed by Eco House Australia.

On this trip I was accompanied by David Griffin, a builder who worked with me on the construction, and Ojars Greste, a photographer and film maker who documented the building project. Click here to view slideshow.

On my previous trip to Hope Vale, the “Cordroy Cape York Community Building and Training Company Pty Ltd” was set up. This provides the framework for administering the construction of the Ablutions Block and also for subsequent construction. Click here to view the Hope Vale project page.

The current construction in Hope Vale is being funded jointly by the Dusseldorp Skills Forum and Harmers Workplace Lawyers. These two organizations have provided funding for the construction of the “Ablutions block” that was built on this trip to Hope Vale. All the timber for the Ablutions Block (which is all timber construction) was cut and supplied by Neville Bowen using his “Lucas Mill” (see photos). Construction work was mainly done by myself and builder David Griffin, assisted by Neville Bowen and four part time workers from the Hope Vale community organized by Neville.

On completion of this Ablutions Block, it is hoped to obtain additional funding to complete the Community Development and Training Centre by building two adjoining Gunyas: a community centre, and a workshop. The construction of these buildings would serve not only as a model for eco house Australia’s Gunya type of building, but also serve as a model of the process of building. Importantly, it would also provide a living space to bring black and white together in practical ways and enhance our understanding of indigenous spiritual and cultural traditions and respect for each other.

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