July 12, 2017
Traditional dancing and music marked a special NAIDOC open day held on Wednesday at the new Gumbuya Family Well-Being headquarters in Kingaroy.
A converted Queenslander in Youngman Street has been taken over by the Cherbourg Regional Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Services (CRAICCHS) as headquarters for their new Gumbuya program.
(CRAICCHS was formerly known as the Barambah Health Service.)
Gumbuya Co-Ordinator Jess Graves said the unit was being funded by the Department of Community Services to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who end up in foster care.
Ms Graves said the program worked with families and individuals, but importantly, their work was directed by the community.
Gumbuya covers the whole South Burnett, from Blackbutt to Cherbourg.
It began operating at the start of March but already is assisting almost 30 individuals.
The program has employed three part-time workers and a part-time counsellor.
The open day was an opportunity for people to take a look at the Gumbuya offices as well as enjoy lunch and some traditional culture.
Cherbourg radio station USmob FM did a live broadcast from the event, the first time they have broadcast from Kingaroy.
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Special guests at the open day included representatives from the Adani Group who are proposing to develop the enormous Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.
Adani sponsored the Open Day and NAIDOC activities.
When asked why, Adani General Manager (Corporate Affairs) Muthuraj Guruswamy explained that many of the traditional owners from the area of the proposed mine now live in Cherbourg.
Sponsorship for the day also came from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
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The CRAICCHS health caravan, which was featured at Kingaroy’s NAIDOC celebration last week, has shifted to Kingaroy Hospital.
The van, which offers services to the Indigenous community as well as the wider South Burnett community, will be at the hospital until July 28.