A long journey came to fruition when a First Peoples Recognition Site was opened recently at Mt Nebo.
Research started in 1992 but was put on hold due to uncertainty as to who were the First Peoples of the area. Native Title was granted to the Jinibara in 2012 and the community then began dialogue with Jinibara Elders.
Situated on Moreton Council land at the start of a track into Boombana National Park, the site features an artwork map of the Jinibara native title area on a central rock surrounded by four direction rocks showing neighbouring First Peoples language groups.
Recognition and respect
“The site aims to recognise and pay respect to all First Peoples,” said project convenor Robert Lachowicz from the Mt Nebo Residents’ Association.
“It reminds us that wherever we are in Australia, in all directions, it’s First Peoples land.”
“A core key message for the site given by our Elders is ‘Look, Listen, Learn’ or ‘Miya, Benga, Djuyeme’ in our language,” said Jinibara artist Jason Murphy, who designed the artwork with the community and was a key cultural liaison.
“It’s fitting that in 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the Jinibara have offered these words in their language to our community,” said Mr Lachowicz.
The project took years of careful respectful dialogue and is a testament to deep commitment from the community to connect with First Peoples.
“We started this project a long time ago and our community finally has some enduring sign of respect and gratitude to First Peoples,” said Mr Lachowicz.
“Such things are so important to the soul of this country and especially in Queensland with the 200th anniversary of European settlement coming up.
“There’s so much to learn from deep engagement with First Peoples and if we ignore or forget our history then we live in ignorance, and our communities lose the opportunity to share this sacred land with integrity and to fully flourish.”
British explorer John Oxley sailed to Moreton Bay in 1823 and settled at what is now Redcliffe in 1824.