It was National Aboriginal and Islander Observance Day Committee (NAIDOC) Week 2022 when the Sandstone Point Lions Club approved an innovative project to support local elements of the Traditional Owners, the Gubbi Gubbi people.
The Club falls within the boundaries of the cultural heartland of the Gubbi Gubbi whose Traditional Country extends from the north of Brisbane up into the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie region.
Within this large area are several cultural heritage sites held by the Gubbi Gubbi, that are listed on the Queensland Indigenous Cultural Heritage Register.
The group reached out to the Sandstone Point Lions for assistance to help maintain one of them, an area of land not far from the Club’s meeting place.
The one-hectare site is culturally very important, as it has been used ceremonially for possibly thousands of years.
The site needed some specialised care as it had become overgrown and needed fallen timber cleared, mowing and slashing, all to be carried out in a way that respected the cultural values of the site and met heritage protocols.
After several meetings with the Gubbi Gubbi management team, Letters of Agreement were exchanged and the Sandstone Point Lions swung into action.
Whipper snippers, lawnmowers, rakes, chainsaws and ride on mowers hit the site in a flurry under the watchful eye of the site’s Traditional custodians.
Sensitive parts of the site were hand-cleared, boundary grass whipper snipped and fallen timber sawed and collected to go to Camp Duckadang as firewood, and as much light grass as possible cleared to allow the balance to be slashed.
The Club then contracted the slashing to be carried out under supervision of the Club’s project manager, Immediate Past President David.
Phase Two of the project is now in the planning stages in which clearing around trees, raking of cut grass for removal and closer mowing will turn the site into a park-like state enabling visits by school groups and others, and cultural events to happen in comfort and safety.
The Club has undertaken a debrief on the project and were delighted with the feedback from the Traditional Owners.
“Gubbi Gubbi Dyungungoo Group Inc. work very hard to preserve our Gubbi Gubbi cultural values and history and it is great to have some assistance from Lions. They have done a great job and handled the cultural sensitivities around the site very well. I hope we can build a longer-term relationship to help us keep the place in good condition for the future.”
This project celebrates a piece of history for our Indigenous residents, one which gives life again to an important cultural icon.