Wakka Wakka traditional owner Cindy Button … wants things to change in Cherbourg (Photo: Cherbourg Radio)

April 30, 2021

After two more attempted suicides in two days at Cherbourg, Wakka Wakka traditional owner Cindy Button is demanding that things change.

She has organised a community forum to be held at 3:30pm on Tuesday (May 4) in front of Cherbourg Town Hall to discuss the changes she wants the Cherbourg community to implement.

Ms Button said she was “sick and tired” of people just talking about issues.

“Let us run it our way,” she said.

“We want it to be community controlled.”

She told southburnett.com.au there was “an epidemic of ice” in the community which police seemed powerless to prevent.

“They know who’s selling it but by the time they get there, it has gone,” she said.

Ms Button also pointed to children roaming the streets at night, illegal alcohol and loud parties; child sexual abuse, and children sniffing paint and petrol.

She has called for a 10:00pm curfew in the community, more Indigenous foster carers and a return of Community Police.

She also wants the former Wunjuada Rehabilitation Centre (now used as a women’s shelter) re-opened.

And Council by-laws used to eject people from Cherbourg who are causing trouble, something which Ms Button says happens at Woorabinda.

“I want some serious action to be done. We need the rehab back here because of the ice problem,” Ms Button said.

“Lock away the child abusers. They are stealing our babies’ childhoods away.”

In a bid to stop fighting on the streets, Ms Button would like a boxing ring set up where people can solve their disputes in a more controlled way, under the watch of traditional owners.

And she would like more opportunities for children in Cherbourg other than just football, including basketball, netball and learning musical instruments such as the guitar or piano.

Ms Button said she was not afraid to be accused of painting her community in a bad light.

“I am so scared about what’s going to happen to our next generation,” she said.

“I want to save my community.”

Ms Button said Mayor Elvie Sandow had said “yes” straight away when she was approached in regards to holding the community forum.

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6 Responses to "Traditional Owner Urges Action"

  1. Anne McDonald  May 1, 2021

    Hello Cindy, a wonderful idea and so glad the Mayor is backing you, bless you and may the Lord keep you safe

    Reply
  2. Davina Chapman  May 1, 2021

    Totally needs to be done. That is how you will be able to make change happen and for community to return back to normal. Hoping there is more of you all over Australia. This is happening everywhere, it saddens me to say.

    Reply
  3. Cheyne  May 1, 2021

    Sorry Cindy, the information you’re getting about Woorabinda is wrong. They are under the Queensland Local Government laws just like any other small town or city and their local government laws do not allow such a ban from the community. This might only apply through the court system with Juveniles or certain cases like domestic violence. But again only administered through the court system or judicial system.

    Reply
  4. Debbie White  May 5, 2021

    Good on you Ms Cindy Button! Just goes to show how much you care for your community. I do truly hope you get all the support you need. Tough measures are needed to save our children. Bless you!

    Reply
  5. Bluey  May 5, 2021

    Good to hear from the community people speaking out about what’s really going on in their local community. Good luck Cindy I hope your ideas are put in place. Seems like your know what needs to be done based on community needs. Inner city people have no idea what is like living in a small community with big problems. I support the small communities – the real traditional people of Australia.

    Reply
  6. Ben  May 8, 2021

    The only way for the wanted and called-for change within any community – whether it be Cherbourg or Kingaroy or Brisbane etc etc – is for community members to break away from the generational keeping of the status quo.

    The same status quo that is often the cause of incessant complaints, and or of more harm than of benefit. Benefits that seemingly again, far too often, flow to the very few overall.

    The exclusion call might be a step too far under the laws (I’m not across that space nor aware of the case of Woorabinda to offer a qualified opinion). However, the call for increased community rehab options surely has to be of greater community benefit.

    Good on you Cindy Button! Successful or attempted suicide rates very much need to be addressed by all within communities.

    Suicide should be viewed as a whole-of-society problem much much more than “RUOK” days.

    Top stuff.

    Reply

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