Quandamooka Art, Museum and Performance Institute (QAMPI)

Case Study



The issue

Our work on Minjerribah (also known as North Stradbroke Island)  in Queensland is amongst our most complex and interesting.

The island is in a period of transition, shifting from a reliance on sand mining to a self-sustaining mix of eco-tourism and cultural activity. The traditional owners across Minjerribah are being supported in this phase through an Economics Transition Strategy, funded by the Queensland State Government.


Via a connection made through our work on Groote Eylandt, we were invited to support the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) in realising this transition.

The process

QYAC had identified a series of projects within the ETS that they needed to develop but required project definition, engagement, design and detailed scoping.

We worked with the QYAC Board and their Land and Sea Committee to prepare a series of project briefs that would assist in prioritising which projects should be pursued and how to access funding.

A Quandamooka Knowledge Centre was included within the ETS but, through conversation, the idea evolved into a multi-purpose hub, providing space for community, performance and the display of artefacts. The centre was to have the dual purpose of providing a place for cultural practice and employment, as well as offering cultural amenity to island visitors.

In a document entitled the ‘Quandamooka Design Philosophy’ we distilled the elements of Quandamooka culture that were important to incorporate within the project; for instance, the use of local materials and the telling of land, sky, water and fauna stories. The landscape was as important as the design of the building.

The Quandamooka Art, Museum and Performance Institute (QAMPI) is imagined as a space to express a uniquely Quandamooka experience of land and sea, seasons, animals, plants and people. A place of engagement and discussion, where the Quandamooka people are curators, guides, storytellers and visitors to the museum of their making.

Enhancing the impact of this project is our ongoing collaborative relationship with COX Architecture’s Brisbane studio. Whilst originally invited by QYAC as CODA, our subsequent merger with COX allowed us to work locally with a dedicated project team in Brisbane. Since forming TheFulcrum.Agency, our role has been in developing the project’s built form and in leading the community consultation. It’s a positive relationship that allows us to navigate the complexities of working interstate whilst accessing the resources and capability of a large practice.

"This wasn’t to be a kitsch nor figurative approach, but one which dignified and celebrated the 12 clans of the Quandamooka nation."

The impact

Construction of QUAMPI is due to start in 2020.

The process of transitioning from North Stradbroke Island to Minjerribah has been contentious and highly politicized. Our hope for this project is that it acts as a catalyst for a more reconciled and complete experience of the island.

Projects such as this one have the potential to shape a more inclusive and rich understanding of our country , whilst augmenting the financial capability of Traditional Owner organisations.