LOCAL LIFE FEATURE
Acknowledging traditional custodians of the Coast
THE Sunshine Coast is a land full of rich history, which many residents know very little about.
Bridgette Chilli Davis is striving to change that through educational cultural and environmental tourism.
The Mooloolah Kabi Kabi women is also working to improve employment, education, training and programs in traditional land and waters management.
Read her full story inside.
BRIDGETTE Chilli Davis is part of one of the oldest families here on country.
The Mooloolah Kabi Kabi woman, who was raised by her grandmother on the Sunshine Coast, has made it her mission to honour the traditional custodians of the land and improve cultural education.
Ms Davis, who is also the CEO of the Mooloolah Kabi Kabi Lands Council and sits on community boards, said future generations needed to know traditional land management and understand culture, connections, and customs.
“I have five children and two grandchildren, and my granddaughter is the eighth generation that’s documented born on country, so that’s a long history,” she said.
“I came back (after moving away) about a year-and-a-half ago ... it’s the best thing ever, but there is a lot of emotions with it as well.
“There are a lot of grey areas and we need to look at things like an Aboriginal medical centre, putting in our infrastructure to work in with the main community infrastructure, and work toward cultural tourism.
“I would love to put together a cultural education centre ... this is
❝ There are so many people coming to visit and we need to be part of it in a positive way and deliver that message of caring for country.
— Bridgette Chilli Davis.
my grandmother’s country and there are so many people coming to visit and we need to be part of it in a positive way and deliver that message of caring for country.”
Through her work with the Mooloolah Kabi Kabi Lands Council, Ms Davis is planning to do repatriation for her great-grandmother (who was forcibly removed under the ACT 101 years ago), undertake vegetation projects, and look at conservation of land and water.
She is also working to be actively involved with the 2030 SCRC vision as part of a collective of stakeholders as decision-makers on country.
Ms Davis said it was important to both heal country and promote cultural and environmental education.
“More importantly, it’s about acknowledging the traditional owners of the Sunshine Coast ... it’s about my old people,” she said.
“That’s the most important thing.
“Through cultural tours and things like cultural education, we need to get kids out there and understanding.
“Implementing it as a curriculum is something very important that we are looking to work toward and that common message all the way through, putting culture and education together. Being raised by my grandmother, one of the last traditional people, was the best gift my mother gave me and I think that’s where (passion) comes from ... you’ve got to do it for the old people and make sure we do things the right way.”
EDUCATION: Kabi Kabi woman Bridgette Davis is passionate about indigenous culture.