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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Traditional Owners on board with NAIDOC celebrations in Far North

    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    Traditional Owners on board with NAIDOC celebrations in Far North

    More than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, children and carers have been given free transport on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to a special NAIDOC Week event in Kuranda.

    Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said he was proud the Palaszczuk Government had been able to assist the Traditional Owners of the Kuranda Region – the Djabugay people – getting to and from the Queensland Rail organised NAIDOC Week celebrations.

    “Long before the first train tracks were laid on the Kuranda Range – which eventually became the KSR – the Djabugay people lived in the Kuranda region, which was then known as Ngunbay,” Mr Crawford said.

    “This week, we recognise the special and symbiotic relationship First Australians have with the land, their history, culture and achievements.

    “To celebrate the area’s traditional origins, we dedicated a carriage on board the KSR for 100 members of the local Indigenous community to experience the service that tourists come from far and wide to see as it winds its way through Ngunbay.”

    Member for Cairns Michael Healy said once in Kuranda, Queensland Rail hosted a special event for its guests with an emphasis on this year’s NAIDOC Week theme – ‘Because of her, we can’ – which celebrates the significant roles Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played in our society.

    “This included the Acknowledgement of Country from Elder Barry Hunter, speeches from Queensland Rail Senior Executives who visited for the day, and empowering stories about the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women play in our community from Djabugay artist and cultural advocate, Rhonda Brim,” Mr Healy said.

    “Rhonda has achieved much in the community, having co-developed the Djabugay language program which she taught in schools for six years, amongst a range of other initiatives aimed at preserving the Djabugay culture.

    “Her dedication and passion to her people is inspiring, and, as a pillar in her community, she is the perfect example of this year’s NAIDOC Week theme.”

    Following the speeches, traditional Djabugay dancers performed to music – showcasing this important element of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Attendees were then treated to a buffet lunch before making the journey back into Cairns on board the KSR.

    Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the team involved were incredibly thankful for everyone who was able to join them today to be a part of the NAIDOC Week celebrations, and were delighted to have been able to share in the proud cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through dances, speeches and storytelling.

    “Ngunbay, or Kuranda to many, is an incredibly special part of the world and we are grateful to be able to honour the rich Indigenous culture which flows through it,” Mr Bailey said.

    This is the second time Queensland Rail has hosted this NAIDOC Week event, which was organised in close consultation with representatives from the Djabugay people.


    Media contact: Dominic Geiger, 0447355565