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Cherbourg Shares NAIDOC Spirit

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Wakka Gubbi singers and dancers performed for the large crowd gathered at The Ration Shed

July 6, 2017

What does NAIDOC mean? Forget the acronym, NAIDOC means showing respect and sharing culture.

Cherbourg’s Ration Shed hosted a large NAIDOC Week celebration on Wednesday, complete with singing, dancing, films, children’s art, kangaroo stew and damper, craft stalls and lots of opportunities to chat.

“We are very proud of our culture and of our Elders who helped to keep our culture alive,” Ration Shed committee chair Aunty Sandra Morgan told the crowd gathered in front of the Ration Shed stage.

The pride shone through as the Wakka Gubbi dancers put on a spirited performance of traditional dancing.

Aunty Ada Simpson then read out the names of Ration Shed supporters whose details have been added to plaques this year on the rear wall of the building: QUT Oodgeroo Unit, South Burnett Regional Council, Australian Catholic University, Mary Beach, Max Klubal, Robert Green and Anne Brosnan. The last four assisted in various ways with the revival of the Barambah Pottery.

Aunty Ada also noted sadly that three people who have been connected with the Ration Shed for many years had died recently: ¬†Vincent “Vinnie” Conlon, and camp oven cooks Sam Chambers and George Thomson.

After the formal part of the morning was over, visitors were invited to inspect the Ration Shed Museum to learn more about Cherbourg history, and watch historic films in the old Boys Dormitory.

Amongst the films scheduled was a special screening of the short “Welcome To Country, nah Gammon”, made by Brisbane filmmaker Dean Gibson.

The comedy tells the tale of a Canberra bureaucrat who goes to an Aboriginal community to try to “fix it”. It was shot in Cherbourg and some familiar faces make an appearance.

* * *

Cherbourg’s NAIDOC awards were presented on Monday in a ceremony in the grounds of the¬†Winifred Fisher Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

Winners were:

  • Person of the Community – Bevan Costello
  • Youth of the Community – Janita Langton
  • Musician / Poet of the Community – John (Bart) Cobbo
  • Sportsperson of the Community – Dominique Sandow
  • Agency / Person Serving the Community – Lorelle Saltner, Sherry Sandow, Wawida Collins, Joanne Simpson, Michael Bird
  • Special Achievement Award – James Hopkins

Some of the team from USmob FM ... station manager Jeanette Brown, the station's longest-serving announcer Uncle Rory Boney, and advertising salesman Brendan Smith

Cherbourg Elder Aunty Lillian Gray with South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff

Some horsing around ... the Wakka Gubbi dancers performed the yarraman dance

Ken Day and Harold Leedie raised the Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal flags

Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray presented Ration Shed chair Aunty Sandra Morgan with a limited edition piece of sporting memorabilia featuring runner Cathy Freeman to add to the museum's sporting display

The Wakka Gubbi dancers mesmerised the large crowd gathered in front of the stage

Cherbourg's Many Threads group had a stall of their many crafts ... from left, Katherine Godden, from Goomeri; Aunty Shirley Law; Anne McDonald, from Moffatdale; and Cr Alana Purcell

The Many Threads group was also responsible for a spot of "yarn bombing" around the Historic Precinct

Award winner James Hopkins spoke about a young person's view of NAIDOC

Hope Bond was busy looking after the tucker ... damper, johnny cakes and three types of stew

Cherbourg's own Muddy Flats kept the music playing at The Ration Shed

Bunya Mountains Murri Rangers had a stall ... from left, Barwoo Fisher, Errol Simpson and Allysa Brown

Toni Phillips-Petersen and Naomi Lynch, from "Glass Art Dreaming", had handmade jewellery, craftwork and glass painting on their stall

QFES reps were enjoying the day ... Inspector Mark Long, Kingaroy; and Superintendent Jeff Keating and Chief Superintendent Michelle Young, from Maryborough

Jed Fraser and Coen Wakeham were student ambassadors from the Oodgeroo Unit at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane

Visitors browse the timeline at The Ration Shed ... films were later shown in this area and in the old Boys Dormitory

Cherbourg Hospital's NAIDOC celebrations took place just across the park from The Ration Shed; Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Board members attended and there were activities for the children, more dancing and stalls ... Gwen Fisher and Genette Simpson were invited to cut the NAIDOC cake by Cherbourg Health Service Manager Tarita Fisher, right, who received a special NAIDOC award from the DDHHS on Monday recognising her excellence in service delivery

[UPDATED with correction]

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