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David O’Brien (on site) 0419 149 404 or Michele Burder 0438 446 453 (also on site) or Zoe Nikakis, Media Liaison, 0410 727 147/ .

Masters of Architecture students are working with members of the Belyuen community in the Northern Territory to design and build an outdoor living space for a local family.

The students will spend a week onsite working alongside local partners to build the structure.

The project is part of the yearly Bower Studio, run since 2008, which sees students collaborate with members of marginalised communities throughout Australia and internationally to build much-needed infrastructure.

Project Lead Dr David O’Brien said it was a unique opportunity for the students to further their design skills and for the local Indigenous workers, many of whom were studying for their trade certificates, to find their feet in the workplace.

“Participants have helped design and construct houses, computer labs, an early childhood learning centre, community ablution facilities and community centres, alongside numerous partner communities,” he said.

“Housing is a shared responsibility with Indigenous communities and support organisations, who must step up and provide their own ‘sweat equity’ to help plan, build, maintain and repair their homes.

“This innovative, best practice model for new housing and housing upgrades works alongside Indigenous communities throughout Australia to improve the sustainability, quality and quantity of housing.

“We are most proud of our reputation. We have always delivered on time and on budget, and the community has always endorsed our work.”

Event details 11 and 12 and 15-17 September, site work at the Belyuen community. 18 September - opening ceremony of the structure.

Belyuen Community: 128 km west of Darwin (by road). Access to the region is by road or ferry from Darwin (via Mandora)