RSS

Category Archives: Aboriginal

PODCAST SERIES MY CAPE YORK LIFE AVAILABLE NOW – GREAT STORIES FROM FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

mcylWe’ve reached the half-way point of series one in the wonderful Cape York NRM podcast My Cape York Life – with plenty of good stories told and many more to come.

The stories are entertaining, inspiring, and often hilarious. You’ll hear about epic wet season adventures, close encounters with crocodiles, the Cape’s first attempt at helicopter cattle mustering, and the joys and challenges of living in remote and isolated places.

Last year, my friends at Cape York Natural Resource Management and South Cape York Catchments decided to give the region’s land managers a place to tell and share their own remarkable stories. And My Cape York Life was born. Lyndal Scobell travelled the Cape, recording the stories. I was invited to do the editing and audio production – and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Episode 4 came out yesterday – we meet Louise Stone at the height of turtle nesting season near Mapoon on western Cape York. Louise was co-ordinator of the Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers, who work to protect vulnerable and endangered turtles and their nesting sites along the beautiful Gulf of Carpentaria coast.

In episode 3, we met Mikayla Down and Wilfred Peter, traditional owners of Lama Lama Country, on the northern coast of Princess Charlotte Bay. Mikayla and Wilfred work with Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation’s Lama Lama Rangers, caring for and managing traditional land and sea country from Silver Plains in the north to Marina Plains in the south.

In our first two episodes, we sat by the Wenlock River, on the north-west Cape, listening to Shelley Lyon tell stories of her 40 adventurous years on Cape York. Shelley has extensive conservation experience from decades working in the Cape’s national parks and private conservation properties with husband Barry. You can click to hear episode 1 and episode 2.

Still to come in this series of My Cape York Life, the ups and downs of raising cattle on the Cape, the joys and challenges of leading a small Cape York indigenous community, how an ecologist from London made her home on a farm near Cooktown, and we meet a cattle farmer and entirely self-taught award-winning plant and wildlife expert at Shipton’s Flat.

My Cape York Life is brought to you by Cape York NRM, with support from South Cape York Catchments, and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Hann River roadhouse

Hann River roadhouse

 

Advertisements
 
Comments Off on PODCAST SERIES MY CAPE YORK LIFE AVAILABLE NOW – GREAT STORIES FROM FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

Posted by on March 4, 2017 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, community, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, indigenous, People

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE 6th INDIGENOUS FIRE WORKSHOP GETS UNDERWAY ON CAPE YORK PENINSULA

FISAAC

Fire as an environmental remedy for bushland? At first look, it seems a counter-intuitive notion, especially in a land so determined, for good reasons, to prevent fire in its cities and countryside. But the idea that the right kind of fire at the right time might help rehabilitate “sick” country, get rid of weed pests and promote healthy growth of vegetation – well, it’s catching on. Traditional indigenous use of fire as a land management tool – looking after country – is increasingly informing land management practices by governments, farmers and environmentalists.

But it hasn’t been an easy journey. A decade or so ago, suggestions that indigenous Australians might be on to something were met with indifference, even open hostility. But indigenous fire practitioners were making a persuasive, some say, a compelling case. Fire, they say, is an essential ingredient in the health of the Australian bush – but that’s not a one size fits all prescription. If you’re going to burn a bit of country, you have to use the right kind of fire at the right time, and have a very clear goal in mind.

dd wshopToday, the sixth Indigenous Fire Workshop gets underway on Cape York Peninsula. People have come from all over Australia to walk the country- it’s Taepithiggi country – and learn from traditional owners and fire practitioners. How to read the land, the animals, trees, the seasons, and talk about the cultural responsibility of looking after country for future generations.

Victor Steffensen is an indigenous fire practitioner based in Cairns, and a director of Mulong, the company supporting the fire workshop. Victor talks about the many ways indigenous people use fire, and how their traditional knowledge increasingly informs non-indigenous land management.

LISTEN

 

 
Comments Off on THE 6th INDIGENOUS FIRE WORKSHOP GETS UNDERWAY ON CAPE YORK PENINSULA

Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous, rd on the road

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MEET INDIGENOUS ARTIST PAUL BONG – COMING TO THE CAIRNS INDIGENOUS ART FAIR THIS JULY

I’m a keen student of the human condition in all its manifestations, and one of the most fascinating is the way we navigate our way through life, charting a course between safety and danger. We take risks, all the time. Without risk, there would be no adventure, no invention, and, quite possibly, no fun. But we all have a deep need to feel safe, and we devise all manner of ways to keep ourselves from harm, from danger.

SHIELD CROPFor generations, the Yidinji indigenous people of far north Queensland used beautifully made wooden shields to add an element of safety to their lives. The Yidinji belong to the country in and around Cairns. When Europeans came to this part of the world, they brought with them a weapon those shields could not block or deflect – guns. Bullets went right through them and felled their bearers in a way that, at least initially, defied their understanding.

It is those often deadly encounters that shape a story being explored by indigenous artist Paul Bong, in etchings now being produced in Cairns. Paul is a Yidinji man, who is exploring the story of those shields, depicting them in breath-taking detail in prints from etchings he’s making at Theo Tremblay’s print workshop. The shields depicted in this series of prints have all the rich texture and colour of the wooden shields that inspired the works, but they’re fractured and damaged, perhaps by conflict, or the passage of time. By depicting them in this way, Paul says he’s finding ways to heal the damage to his people, his culture, and to take that culture into the future. You’ll get the chance to see his current work at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in late July.

Paul is clearly an artist of great talent, and a really engaging story teller. I encourage you to listen to my interview with Paul here.

HAVING A YARN WITH PAUL BONG AT THE PRINT WORKSHOP

HAVING A YARN WITH PAUL BONG AT THE PRINT WORKSHOP

 

 
Comments Off on MEET INDIGENOUS ARTIST PAUL BONG – COMING TO THE CAIRNS INDIGENOUS ART FAIR THIS JULY

Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Aboriginal, arts & culture, EFFINCUE, indigenous

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

HOW MANY SEASONS ARE THERE IN A TROPICAL YEAR? IN KAKADU, THE ANSWER IS SIX

YELLOW WATERS LAGOON

YELLOW WATERS LAGOON

Here in far north Queensland, indeed, right across tropical Australia, we tend to count just two seasons – the wet and the dry. In the wet, the monsoon brings huge amounts of rain and the possibility of cyclones – and it’s all that water that makes this place such an attractive home to our wildlife. During the dry, the days are hot, nights are warm and the place is chockers with tourists. Of course, it can rain during the dry, but the rain comes from a different direction and in usually much smaller amounts. But within those two broad “seasons”, there are subtle changes, periods when change is on its way and signs of what’s next become more apparent. Indigenous people in tropical Australia identify several distinct seasons – in the lush wetlands of Kakadu, in the Northern Territory, the local mob recognise six distinct seasons.

COMB CRESTED JACANA

COMB CRESTED JACANA

Our wildlife correspondemt Dr Martin Cohen is in Kakadu this week, working with a Japanese film crew who are documenting the region’s most famous wetland – Yellow Waters – and some of its wildlife, including Norm the comb crested jacana, who Martin reckons should get the dad of the year award. LISTEN to Martin explain the critters and the seasons of Kakadu 

Dr Martin Cohen is ABC Far North wildlife correspondent. Hear him on radio Wednesday afternoons at 445 or search for him on your podcast app

 
Comments Off on HOW MANY SEASONS ARE THERE IN A TROPICAL YEAR? IN KAKADU, THE ANSWER IS SIX

Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Aboriginal, EFFINCUE, environment, indigenous, tropical weather & climate, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE WAY FORWARD FOR INDIGENOUS ART IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

CARVINGS AT WIK KUGU ARTS CENTRE AURUKUN

CARVINGS AT WIK KUGU ARTS CENTRE AURUKUN

If you ask people to talk about Australian indigenous art, most will think immediately of dot paintings – a style that comes from the deserts of central Australia and is instantly recognisable all over the world as Australian and indigenous. It’s by far the most commercially successful branch of our indigenous arts scene. But it’s not the only style. Indigenous art varies widely in style and choice of medium across the country, but it can be hard for artists to compete with the universally popular dot paintings.

Many visitors are drawn to far north Queensland by indigenous art. We have many indigenous art centres around FNQ, and indigenous art is available in Cairns. For some years our city has put on CIAF – the Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair, bringing many thousands of visitors and many economic benefits to artists and the region. CIAF was held in a scaled down form this year, and it remains to be seen how viable an event it will be in the future with significantly less State Government funding.

Around our region, indigenous arts centres encourage the cultural and spiritual expression which is central to indigenous art. But in many communities, the practice of art is also a valuable source of income, maybe the only viable way for people to remain in their country and make a living. So it’s crucial that their work can gain wider exposure – as it’s a very long journey to some of those arts centres.

The newly formed Indigenous Art Centre Alliance Inc hopes to address these challenges. It represents 13 arts centres in FNQ, Cape York Peninsula & Torres Strait. It’s members met in Cairns this week to consider the way forward. LISTEN to my interview with manager Pam Bigelow & Treasurer Dev Lengjel here  

AURUKUN CAMP DOG CARVING

AURUKUN CAMP DOG CARVING

 
Comments Off on THE WAY FORWARD FOR INDIGENOUS ART IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Aboriginal, arts & culture, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous, rd on the road, Torres Strait

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CARING FOR CAPE YORK INDIGENOUS BABIES & MUMS – AND CLOSING THE GAP

CAPE YORK PENINSULA

CAPE YORK PENINSULA

Every year, somewhere between 150 and 200 babies are born on Cape York Peninsula. Hang on – that’s not right. They’re born into Cape York families – but those babies are born in Cairns. Queensland Health requires pregnant mothers to head to Cairns at around 36 weeks into their pregnancy – especially mothers thought to be at high risk of medical complications in the late stages of pregnancy and during birth. The current thinking is it’s better to have births at far north Queensland’s biggest hospital, eliminating the need for a late emergency medical evacuation to Cairns if things start to go wrong.

It may be sound medical reasoning, but it can be a real hardship for indigenous women. Despite support schemes and subsidies, the temporary move to Cairns can be costly, lonely, a real disconnect from the extended family support at home. And it tends to further entrench an attitude about health care – that it’s somehow separate from the daily lives of indigenous people. We understand Queensland Health is considering introducing birth facilities at one Cape York hospital, not eliminating the need to leave home but reducing the physical & cultural distance.

Apunipima_Logo_350_280During pregnancy and after the birth of their child, Cape York indigenous mums are supported by services provided by various organisations, including Apunipima Cape York Health Council. http://www.apunipima.org.au/  Its teams realise that the much used “close the gap” health slogan can only have meaning if health care is present in remote indigenous communities, and is delivered in socially and culturally appropriate ways.

Rachel Sargeant leads the Apunipima Maternal & Child Health team. She works closely with her indigenous colleague, Daphne De Jersey, the Apunipima child & maternal health worker in Mapoon on north-west Cape York.There are many challenges – high rates of smoking and drinking during pregnancy, STIs, gestational diabetes, and more. But Daphne, Rachel and their colleagues are making headway. LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Rachel and Daphne talk about their work caring for the mums and babies of Cape York.

 
Comments Off on CARING FOR CAPE YORK INDIGENOUS BABIES & MUMS – AND CLOSING THE GAP

Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, health, indigenous, rd on the road

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DESCENDANT OF YARRABAH MISSIONARIES VISITS THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY HIS ANCESTORS FOUNDED OVER 120 YEARS AGO

REVEREND ERNEST GRIBBLE

REVEREND ERNEST GRIBBLE

In the 1880s, moves were afoot near the then young settlement of Cairns to establish an Aboriginal mission station on land across Trinity Inlet, at what became known as Mission Bay. The proposal generated some controversy in Cairns, but it did go ahead, under the leadership of Reverend John Brown Gribble, and later, his son – Reverend Ernest Gribble.

By the early 1890s, Yarrabah was occupied by local indigenous people who had been encouraged, and some forced, to go there. Ernest Gribble spent a decade there, and went on to become the Anglican Church‘s longest serving missionary to the Aboriginal people of Australia. And Yarrabah still exists – as a largely self-governing indigenous community.

A week or so ago, a direct descendant of John and Ernest Gribble made his first visit to Yarrabah. Len Harris was on a trip to Cape York Peninsula, and decided to have a look at the community his ancestors founded more than 120 years ago.

Len wasn’t sure how he’d be received. After all, Ernest Gribble had been an authoritarian figure, and none too gentle in his spreading of the word. The role missionaries played, even inadvertently, in bringing indigenous people under white control is still much debated and highly divisive. And there’s some suggestion the removal of indigenous children from their families and communities may have taken place in those times. But Len found traces of his ancestors are still there in Yarrabah, and he went there with an open mind, and an open heart.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Len Harris talk about his ancestors, the story of the Gribble family and the earliest days of Yarrabah.

yarrabah-government-sign

 
Comments Off on DESCENDANT OF YARRABAH MISSIONARIES VISITS THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY HIS ANCESTORS FOUNDED OVER 120 YEARS AGO

Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Aboriginal, Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous, rd on the road

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,