LO­CAL LIFE FEA­TURE

Ac­knowl­edg­ing tra­di­tional cus­to­di­ans of the Coast

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Words by Jes­sica Bahr

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.”

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

ED­U­CA­TION: Kabi Kabi woman Brid­gette Davis is pas­sion­ate about indige­nous cul­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.