Sanctuary: a Creative Co-Design Space

Our mindset is multi-sensory, educational, conservation-minded, respectful of First Nations Country & culture & nourishing to both mind & body.

Native Orchid Celeana (Flying Duck Orchid). Photo by Michael Prideaux

Sanctuary East Gippsland Inc. is an advocacy group focused on Eco-Cultural-Tourism as a means of building trans-generational prosperity in East Gippsland and exploring strategic opportunities to transition to a more regenerative economy. We promote the co-design of sensitive places, spaces and ‘experiences’ that recognize and secure environment, culture and community identity. We are a group with deep knowledge of the region; its history, communities, its tourism, cultural and environmental significance and potential.

Our Sanctuary Inc. team, a non-profit, oversees a flexible, non-linear co-design lab that brings together custodians, specialist expertise, artists, local wisdom, all the relevant stakeholders, to explore and test innovative and strategic opportunities and strategies.

Co-design extracts contributions in a continuous experimental and creative process. It allows for the iterative outlining and prototyping of emerging ideas and enables stakeholders to experience the implications, advantages and risks of different propositions.

"In this complex intersection, that combines cooperative experimenting and testing of ideas to build a greater knowledge base around the concept and the collaborative ability to establish clearer understanding of risk, we make the co-design process singularly valuable." Michael Trudgeon, Professor of Architecture and Design in Social Context. RMIT University, member of the Sanctuary E.G. team

For organizations co-design can assist in 'breaking down the silos' that impede the fruition of cross-disciplinary projects and help to minimize the investment risk.

For communities we give voice to local imagination and wisdom and enable collaboration with experts (scientific and cultural) in the testing and prototyping of ideas and propositions.

This builds capacity, community pride and ownership.

We are guided by our associate Dr Daniele Hromek (a Yuin Saltwater woman) (1) and we are learning to observe cultural protocols and ensure that respect for Country and culture is at the core of our co-design process.

Illustration: Our flexible Sanctuary co-design lab workshop model

Sanctuary E.G Values

We value community. Each community has its identity - its history, stories, culture and its brand of resilience. It will have strengths, assets and opportunities in the Eco-Cultural-Tourism space.
We value inclusiveness by listening to all who have a stake in the regeneration of land, culture and the development of innovative, strategic and secure opportunities. 

Driving and Marketing Regional Creativity, East Gippsland Art Gallery - Bairnsdale

We celebrate Eco-Tourism excellence: Licensed Tour Operator Skipper Pete.Nature-Based Tour Guide & Wildlife Citizen Scientist. Certified Eco-Guide.Commercial Boat Coxswain.

We unleash the power of creativity – imagination, ideas, problem solving, skills and specialist knowledge. 
We value diversity. We create safe and trustworthy settings that enable sharing of ideas and knowledge across disciplines, cultures, ethnicity, age and gender identities. 

'Bataluk Trail' Cape Conran near the traditional border of the lands of the Gunnaikurnai, Bidawal and Monero where people met for ceremonies to feast and celebrate.Photo Jo Moulton

We respect truth and reconciliation: the need to acknowledge the beauty and ugliness of our history; our First Nations need to regenerate culture, language and knowledge; our history of Colonial settlement, including evidence of massacres and atrocities that displaced Traditional Owners and officially sought to expunge their rights, their culture, lore, language and livelihoods. 

We are mindful of ongoing trauma that results from catastrophic events. We draw on our innate connection to Country/Nature and creativity for recovery as individuals, communities and industry. 

'Edge of My Vision' post-fires series by artist Dore Stockhausen.

We seek strategic pathways to enhance skills, hatch businesses and create jobs in a thriving Eco-Cultural-Tourism economy that leverages off location, First Nations Country and culture, rich biodiversity and an abundance of growers, , citizen scientists, entrepreneurs, makers and creators.

Our Team and Associates

We bring together deep knowledge and experience of local history, the arts, media, design, education, agriculture, Landcare, community governance and tourism leadership.

Our core team of regionally based advisors/advocates have networks that reach across Gippsland and into many remote communities.

Jo Moulton (Founder) Creative and Strategic Designer, Arts/Tourism/Business Advisor

Jenny Toye, Artist and Educator

Jenny Robertson, Regenerative Farmer, Victorian Landcare Board Member (retired)

Tim Gibson, Regional Historian, Key Member of East Gippsland Historical Society

Claire-lise Gamble, Remote Gippsland Tourism Entrepreneur and Community Leader.

We work closely and with the guidance of our associates:-

Michael Trudgeon, Professor of Architecture & Design in Social Context, RMIT University

Dr Daniel Hromek, Spatial Designer and Yuin (Saltwater) Woman of Djinjama who publishes on how to place Country in the centre of co-design with First Nations communities.


1. Djinjama Cultural Design & Research by Dr Daniel Hromek

2. The Value of Co-design by Professor Michael Trudgeon

If you want to know more about us or to read our blogs that include relevant Eco-Cultural-Tourism international models visit our website @