The Wakka Wakka Dancers performing on Wakka Wakka country on Tuesday at Cherbourg

November 10, 2020

Cherbourg residents celebrated a delayed NAIDOC Day with relief on Tuesday with music, dancing and the town’s annual awards.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit hard earlier this year … not through disease (thankfully) but with the lockdown which aimed to prevent the coronavirus from coming to town.

No other South Burnett community had a checkpoint on their access road or required passes for the very few visitors allowed in.

When the restrictions were relaxed, Cherbourg residents could start living again – and planning for a much-delayed NAIDOC Week later in the year.

Most of the regular NAIDOC activities took place on Tuesday although there were all the usual warnings about social distancing.

The “Cherbourg’s Got Talent” quest returned along with a host of stalls and games for the youngsters.

Cherbourg Deputy Mayor Tom Langton welcomed local residents and visitors to Memorial Park, opposite The Ration Shed.

“Our NAIDOC theme for this year is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’,” Deputy Mayor Langton said.

“This statement is an acknowledgement and celebration that we – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Nations people – are culturally and spiritually connected to this land. We have been caretakers for over 65,000 years.

“We have experience, knowledge, history.

“Thank you for coming to celebrate with our community today. This reassures me that all present are here to embrace the true history.

“I encourage our youth to listen and learn from our Elders. This country always was and always will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land. This is our day! Enjoy!”

Cherbourg State School captains Merna Landers and Daisy Gadd did the Welcome To Country

Talent quest winner Abbey Luke, 12, from Wattle Camp … Abbey performed a contemporary dance routine

Talent quest runner-up Kellie Fisher, 9, from Cherbourg … Kellie sang Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”
Cherbourg Radio broadcast live from the event and livestreamed the stage activities … from left, Arlene Langton, Kimberley Barrett and Tara Priestley

Aunty Hazel Speedy raised the Aboriginal flag during the opening ceremony

There were activities for the kids … including this football passing competition
The three judges for the “Cherbourg’s Got Talent” quest … Sgt Rene Bond (Murgon PCYC), Elgan Saunders (CRAICCHS) and Aunty Lillian Gray
The Wakka Wakka Dancers – accompanied by some junior dancers – performed before an enthusiastic crowd
Rocko Langton and Andrew Beckett kept the music going on stage into the afternoon

* * *


Cherbourg NAIDOC 2020 Person Of The Community Jeffrey Dynevor with his wife Lavinia … Jeffrey was working at the State School when the award was presented and was stunned when he heard his name read out on the radio

The town’s annual NAIDOC Awards were presented by Cherbourg Deputy Mayor Tom Langton, Cr Bronwyn Murray and Cr Fred Cobbo.

  • The 2020 Cherbourg NAIDOC Person Of The Community is Jeffrey Dynevor.

Jeffrey works with children at Cherbourg State School and the Sports Complex. He also volunteers as a coach for the Cherbourg Hornets and is a volunteer with the Cherbourg SPAN (Suicide Prevention Action Network).

His citation continued:

“Jeffrey shares his wisdom and knowledge to the children of Cherbourg. He tries to teach respect and having pride in taking ownership of their community. He is a role model to our young men. He is always ready to lend a helping hand when people need it. He loves his community and the people in it. When there is a physical disagreement or dispute in our community, he tries to keep the peace. He is a proud Cherbourg man but sees the good in everyone.”

  • Youth Of The Community – Pharrell Chapman. Pharrell is a school captain at Murgon State High School and was congratulated for his leadership, positivity and support to his peers.
  • Agency Or Organisation Serving The Community – Cherbourg Community Health Service, recognised for their special services to the community during the COVID lockdown.
  • Artist Of The Community – Wakka Wakka Dancers (Bow Button, Charlie Bond, Daniel Weazel, Tyrone Murray and Eric Blair)
  • Sportsperson Of The Community – Lloyd Langton
  • Special Achievement Awards – Tyreece Gyemore and Tyrone Murray.

* * *

Acknowledgement Awards 

  • Avril Gray – completed a Certificate in Hospitality and was offered a supervisor’s position at the Yurri Muntha cafe. She took on this role during the COVID-19 lockdown when she found it hard to get supplies but she managed to keep the cafe open with the help of her staff.
  • Andrew Beckett – manages the recycling plant and Containers For Change in Cherbourg. He was recognised for his hard work in developing the recycling plant into a sustainable business for Cherbourg.
  • Murgon State High School – MSHS has made a big difference to the Aboriginal students over the past 18 months in terms of educational outcomes. For the first time in its 75 year history, in 2019 Murgon High had an Aboriginal school captain. The student population is 420 with 56 per cent Aboriginal. In 2021, the school will introduce a Wakka Wakka language program. Aboriginal employment at the school has increased from two staff to more than 10. During the Cherbourg lockdown, the school partnered with Cherbourg Council to open a campus at the Winifred Fisher Indigenous Knowledge Centre.
  • Cherbourg QFES – Acknowledging the great work the Cherbourg firies do to keep the community safe, working on burn-offs and educating children and the community. The fathers, brothers, sons and uncles are great role models.
  • Staff of the Cherbourg Sports Complex – This award acknowledges an organisation serving the community by providing a safe and healthy environment for children. Around 60 children of all different ages can be there in one area every week day.

Cherbourg State School long service awards

  • Bevan Costello, Sylvia Bond, Mary Blair, Irene Purcell, Karen Jacobs and Dorothy Bird

NAIDOC Basketball competition winners

  • Lloyd Langton, Arthur Saltner and Mark Saltner

Andrew Beckett received an Acknowledgement Award from Cr Murray for his work at the Cherbourg recycling plant and Containers For Change

Eileen Boney received the Agency or Organisation Award from Cr Langton on behalf of the Cherbourg Community Health Service
Murgon State High School principal Simon Cotton received an Acknowledgement Award on behalf of the school from Crs Murray and Cobbo
Accepting the Acknowledgement Award on behalf of the Cherbourg Sports Complex were Kaysee Miller (with Kayser, 3), Sonny Weazel and complex manager Lavinia Dynevor

Sylvia Bond received a Long Service Award for her work at the Cherbourg State School

Firefighter Daniel Cobbo accepted the Acknowledgement Award from Cr Murray on behalf of the Cherbourg QFES
Tyrone Murray, centre, received a Special Achievement Award from Crs Langton, Murray and Cobbo
Crs Murray and Langton with young cricketer and Year 10 Murgon State High School student Lloyd Langton who won the Sportsperson of the Year Award
The Wakka Wakka Dancers were recognised as Artists Of The Year … Tyrone Murray, Charlie Bond and Danny Weazel with Crs Murray, Cobbo and Langton

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

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