Looking back, moving forward BY GHEEBELUM, NGUGI ELDER, DR ROBERT V ANDERSON OAM
uandamooka Peopleâ€™s Native Title Rights were recognised on this historic day, the July 4, 2011, at Dunwich Hall, Goompee, Minjerribah. The echoes of the familiesâ€™ joy, cries and tears will always be poignant images for our family and community Elders, who cleared the pathway for us to travel and arrive at this page of our history. Family stories pre- and postcolonisation show that, whatever the change, as a people, we have always maintained our cultural identity and our cultural integrity. Our respect for others, our involvement in the saving of lives is clearly expressed by the action of our Uncles who rushed into the surf to save survivors off the ship, Sovereign, wrecked on March 11, 1847; 46 people drowned, 10 people saved. The story of the cedar timber cutters began on the March 21, 1823 when Parsons, Finnegan and Pamphlet left Sydney. Wild weather forced them northward and washed them onto our shores. Our community people assisted them, feeding and sheltering them, sharing our resources to those in need and arranging their travel to areas on the mainland. Today, three streets in Dunwich bear their names. These actions clearly show how much we value human life. This was also demonstrated by our community women who assisted all women during sickness and childbirth. Since Native Title, the peak body representing Quandamooka Peoples is Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) on which all Quandamooka families have representation. QYAC has responsibility to conduct all matters with state government organisations and also Redland City Council, meeting all legal requirements working with other organisations and residents who share the same philosophy: love, nurturing the land, seaways and the profusion of lakes and streams that provide sustenance to maintain our lives and strengthen our Spirits.
One year on from the historic Native Title determination, Uncle Bob Anderson is positive about the future for Minjerribah, Moorgumpin and the Quandamooka people.
STRADDIE ISLAND NEWS 3