- Friday 24 March 2017
The cultural heritage and significance of the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project site was recognised today (March 24) in a special ceremony featuring Kabi Kabi First Nation representatives.
The moving 45-minute occasion featured a smoking ceremony as the Kabi Kabi connected with spirit before walking on country in the footsteps of their people.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was honoured to participate in the ceremony and represent the Sunshine Coast community.
Among those in attendance was Auntie Bessie Bond, the oldest living Kabi Kabi member.
“Events such as this provide opportunities for council to engage with the Kabi Kabi First Nation People through their Elders and representatives and to further our understanding of the cultural significance of this landscape and the surrounding features,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Today’s ceremony recognised and celebrated the ongoing partnership between Sunshine Coast Council and Kabi KabiFirst Nation People to manage and protect the important cultural heritage and environmental values of this land.
“It is the next step towards identifying the appropriate management processes for the cultural heritage associated with the land on which the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project will be constructed.”
Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion project director Ross Ullman said Kabi Kabi cultural heritage monitors and spotter catchers had already been involved with preliminary works onsite.
“They were on hand to ensure that any items of cultural significance were identified and preserved and that fauna were protected during the clearing activity along the centre line and further afield along the drainage lines,” Mr Ullman said.
“They were able to safely redirect the small number of animals they encountered into the nearby National Park.”
Kabi Kabi Native Title Applicant representatives who spoke at the ceremony said today’s event was part of the beginning of the new era for the Kabi Kabi people and their relationship with council.
The Kabi Kabi are looking forward to the potential opportunities the airport expansion will offer to provide a stronger foundation for future generations of Kabi Kabi families.
Today’s ceremony follows council’s endorsement of its Reconciliation Action Plan 2017-2019 yesterday (Thursday 23 March).
Mayor Jamieson said the plan further strengthened council’s capabilities to work collaboratively with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on a shared journey toward reconciliation.
“The Reconciliation Action Plan focuses on advancing a shared future, outlined the practical actions council and our partners will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between the region’s Kabi Kabi and Jinibara First Nation peoples and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Nation groups,” Mayor Jamieson said.