August 8, 2014
There were a couple of very special visitors at Cherbourg State School’s NAIDOC celebrations at The Ration Shed today.
Dingo Simon, from the Durong Dingo Sanctuary, brought along “Honey”, a ginger Alpine Dingo; and her pup “Zahra”.
The visit had been scheduled for weeks but wasn’t confirmed until yesterday when permission from Biosecurity Queensland was granted.
Dingo Simon said the government organisation had also now given him approval to keep the pup, but with strict conditions.
The dingoes proved popular with the Year 5-7 and Year 2 Alt Ed students who visited The Ration Shed with principal Peter Sansby and their teachers.
All the students had the opportunity to have a cuddle with Zahra.
The children also listened as the children’s book, “Dingoes Are Not Dogs”, written by former school principal Chris Sarra and published by Budburra Books, was read aloud.
Dingoes have played an important role in traditional Aboriginal culture for thousands of years but these days, the native animal is a declared Class 2 pest by the State Government. Keeping a dingo in Queensland without a permit can attract a $30,000 fine.
The Cherbourg children split into three groups to enjoy various NAIDOC activities – including painting with Robert “Rocko” Langton – and to explore The Ration Shed with help from Aunty Sandra Morgan and Aunty Ada Simpson.
They then enjoyed lunch, which included wallaby stew and johnny cakes.
Sophie and her sister Martina, who also retired today, have clocked up an amazing total of 74 years of service at the school.
“I enjoyed all my years at the school. I am going to miss everybody,” Aunty Sophie said.
“I have worked under 10 principals and I have seen many teachers come and go.”