Chebourg’s Wakka Wakka dancers showed off their skills at Monday’s NAIDOC celebrations.
Chebourg’s Wakka Wakka dancers showed off their skills at Monday’s NAIDOC celebrations. Emma Galliott

NAIDOC Week begins

HISTORY was remembered by elders of Cherbourg to start this week's National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) celebrations.

Cherbourg Mayor Ken Bone yesterday told the crowd at the Ration Shed about his time spent as a young boy in the Boy's Dormitory.

"I was one of the kids at the time," he said.

"A lot of us worked and our elders worked very hard here.

"I was one of the fortunate or unfortunate, depends on how you look at it, kids who lived in the Boy's Dormitory."

Councillor Bone said Cherbourg - formally known as Barambah - was once led by a dictatorship and racism.

He was proud to see his fellow elders who lived through the turmoil were able to come to the NAIDOC celebrations.

"The Ration Shed is a good memory," he said.

Master of ceremonies Katina Leedie said history was an important part of Cherbourg.

"We can all agree history is what makes us," she said.

Many of the other speakers on the day touched on Cherbourg's history and compared it to oppression.

"You needed a permit to go to Murgon," one historian said.

"As children, we had a wonderful childhood because we didn't know any better."

Youth Group member Jakai Foggarty said he was proud to be a young Aboriginal man from Cherbourg.

"Our history shapes who we are and it has given me a great sense of pride," he said.

"I am a proud young Aboriginal man."

A timeline was opened at the celebrations.

It took Ration Shed chairperson Sandra Morgan and colleagues two years to put together.

"The timeline is dedicated to the past and present people of Barambah," she said.

"My wish... is that this timeline will promote reconciliation."

Mrs Morgan said the timeline was a wonderful educational resource for many people.

NAIDOC celebrations will continue this week with more events planned in Cherbourg today.

Organisers encouraged people of the South Burnett to visit the Ration Shed to explore the new timeline.

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