HomeCouncilReconciliation award: Milbi Festival commended

Reconciliation award: Milbi Festival commended

Queensland Reconciliation Awards 2023
Bundaberg Regional Council’s Milbi Festival, has been highly commended at the 2023 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

The contemporary message stick and Welcome Home Elders program, held as part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s Milbi Festival, has been highly commended at the 2023 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

The Milbi Festival is an annual celebration of arts, culture and the environment, centred around the beginning of turtle nesting season for which the Bundaberg Region is world-renowned.

Since 2021 these initiatives have been held within the event program, delivered by Council in partnership with the Port Curtis Coral Coast Trust, Bunya Mountains Murri Rangers and Gidarjil Development Corporation Land and Sea Rangers.

In the Welcome Home to Elders program Bundaberg Regional Council identified 16 apical families who were traced to Wooribinda and Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Councils which were formerly Aboriginal mission settements.

Those Elders represent the family bloodlines of people forcibly removed from their families and tribal homelands of Bundaberg under the Aboriginal Protection Act (1897).

These VIP Elders were invited to celebrate the opening weekend of the Milbi Festival.

A contemporary message stick, crafted by the Bunya Mountains Murri Rangers paid homage by travelling the song-lines travelled from the Bunyas to the beach before being presented to the local Gidarjil Land and Sea Rangers at the event.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was a great honour to have these initiatives recognised as highly commended in the community category at the 2023 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

“It was important to Council to provide respectful and meaningful recognition to the four Traditional Owner groups of our region as part of the Milbi Festival,” Mayor Jack Dempsey said.

“We received wonderful feedback from the participants and wider community in response to this initiative and have plans to expand upon the concept for the 2023 Milbi Festival to be held from 27 October to 5 November 2023.”

Garbutt Magpies Sporting and Cultural Association for Mariakarti Nyawa, Kurranyu Nyinama – Look Back If You Want To Go Forward took out the top spot in the 2023 Queensland Reconciliation Awards community category.

Read more about the finalists' stories and successes here.

Bundaberg Regional Council acknowledges the traditional Country of the Taribelang Bunda, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang and Bailai Peoples and recognise that this Country has always been and continues to be of cultural, spiritual, social and economic significance.

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