Ten years of desert knowledge
Nov 05, 2018
The Desert Knowledge Precinct celebrates its 10th anniversary in style
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Desert Knowledge Precinct and the Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre (DKASC). Located on 73 hectares of beautiful Arrernte land, the Precinct is home to partner organisations Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA), Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Teritary Education (BIITE) and the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfAT.)
As the landlord of the Precinct, DKA develops the property and leases space to other organisations. In 2018, Territory Natural Resource Management, Regional Arts Australia, Desert Support Services, Tangentyere Council’s Land and Learning Program, Indigenous Business Australia, Maggie Kavanagh Consulting, Indigenous Desert Alliance, and NT Friendship & Support were all tenants on the Precinct. The organisations on the Precinct work across industries and sectors, but have shared values and common goal: making the desert a better place to work, learn and live.
The Precinct forms part of a wider desert knowledge network, including neighbours Geoscience Australia, Yirara College, the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), and Ekistica. DKA engages Ekistica to operate and maintain the DKASC, located on the Precinct.
To celebrate the Precinct’s 10th anniversary, DKA, the partner organisations, neighbours and tenants worked together to host a week of events that engaged with a wide range of stakeholders and community members. The events reaffirmed relationships and celebrated the vision, purpose and work of the Precinct’s organisation.
Business at Sunset
29 October 2018
The celebrations kicked off with DKA’s Business at Sunset, co-hosted with Chamber of Commerce NT. Over 75 members of the Alice Springs business community attended the event to network and learn more about DKA’s programs and activities.
Batchelor Institute Library Tour
31 October 2018
BIITE held a tour of their library, which was recently gifted over 10,000 books by ABC. Although the Batchelor library primarily serves its staff and students, membership is open to staff of other Precinct organisations as well as the Alice Springs community.
Desert Research Symposium
1 November 2018
The Desert Knowledge Research Institute (DKRI) will support existing research and identify new research opportunities. As an approved researched institute with DGR status, it can auspice funding for other researchers and organisations. The DKRI will conduct research of practical value in the areas of people, place and knowledge.
The launch of the Desert Knowledge Research Institute (DKRI) presented DKA with the opportunity to consult with the community about gaps in desert research and the role DKRI can play in filling those gaps. The Desert Research Symposium asked presenters and attendees, ‘Desert research: has it all been done before?’
Professor Rolf Gerritsen (Charles Darwin University) and Heron Loban (Griffith Law School) gave presentations which led to animated discussions about the potential future directions of DKRI and tangible research topics.
Rays of Impact: 10 Years of the DKA Solar Centre
2 November 2018
The DKA Solar Centre is an internationally renowned gem right in Alice Springs’ backyard, and the story of its creation and development is fascinating. Since October 2008, the DKA Solar Centre has generated more than just solar energy: it has exported data and knowledge to Australia and the world. At Rays of Impact, guests gathered under the shade of the solar arrays to hear reflections from Lyndon Freason (managing director, Ekistica) and DKA CEO Lauren Ganley. This event was an unprecedented opportunity to celebrate this iconic initiatve and learn about its global impact, stories of diverse application and future directions.
Read more about the DKA Solar Centre’s 10th anniversary.
Guests gathered under the solar arrays to hear reflections on the development of this international gem.
Lyndon Frearson (Managing Director, Ekistica), Lauren Ganley (CEO, DKA), Harold Furber (Precinct Elder-in-Residence) and Sheena Ong (Graduate Engineer, Ekistica) celebrate the DKA Solar Centre’s 10th anniversary.
Lauren and Lyndon discuss the birth of the DKA Solar Centre.
What’s a birthday without cake?
The Twilight Festival
Saturday 3 November
A week of the Precinct’s 10th anniversary celebrations culminated with the biggest party of them all: the Twilight Festival. From 4pm – 7.30pm, the Irrarnte café and surrounding areas were transformed into a vibrant festival hub with a friendly ambience that impressed the Alice Springs community.
Seven food stalls provided delicious cuisine from all over the world; local musicians Ceenah, Johanna Campbell and the Wiggle of Judas entertained more than 2000 people over the course of the evening. Eleven information stalls were set up to engage with the public and provide information about the organisations. The children of Alice Springs enjoyed a wealth of entertainment, ranging from face painting, fairy floss, balloon animals, a jumping castle, a drawing competition and water pistols to keep the summer heat at bay.