Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre opened on 14 July 2012 after 12 years of hard work by the people of the Katherine Region.

Dignitaries from the Federal, Territory and Local governments attended the official opening. Speeches commenced with a Welcome to Country by board members representing the three Indigenous groups from the town of Katherine (Jawoyn, Dagoman and Wardaman), followed by political leaders, the Mayor and the Chairman of the Board of Management, Craig Lambert. Traditional owners then facilitated an official handing over of the keys from the Northern Territory Government to the Board of Management. 

View the Opening celebrations

Welcome to our stupendously great art work on display in a fabulous setting with fabulous dancing.
- Katherine resident

Fantastic for Katherine. Thanks 4 all who worked so hard.
- Katherine resident

Finally! It is A-MA-ZING.
- Audience member, Official Opening, 2012

The opening program featured events in which over 60 Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists participated including:

The unveiling of the iconic wallaby sculpture which is based on artist Cedric Fordimail’s work 

Traditional dancing from three Indigenous community groups – the Mularra dancers from Bulman, the Djilpin Dancers and the Young Wagilak Group from Ngukurr

Big River Country; an exhibition showcasing Katherine regional artists  

Fire B Boys from Wugularr

Tracey Bunn, Leah Flanagan and Sara Storer

Children’s workshops including spinning flowers and bush toys 

Paint the Sky project coordinated by Jayne Nankivell, featuring Katherine region Indigenous artists Richard Forbes, Manuel Pamkal, Kevin Forbes, Joanne Forbes, Biddy Wavehill and Shane Bowden

Godinymayin Lights project facilitated by Katherine Regional Arts featuring over 100 lanterns painted by residents from around the Katherine region.