Broadbeach commemorates cultural heritage and local history

Published Sunday, 08 November, 2015 at 08:50 AM

Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

The Queensland Government will join the Gold Coast Historical Society and Gold Coast locals next Sunday, on November 15, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Broadbeach Burial Ground excavation.

Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said this significant anniversary would bring together generations in celebration of local Aboriginal heritage and the cultural history of the Gold Coast.

“Soil contractors working at Broadbeach back in 1965 unearthed a discovery that was soon recognised as an Aboriginal burial ground which led to the archaeological excavation and removal of the remains of more than 150 Aboriginal people from the site,” Mr Pitt said.

“It was subsequently established that these people had been buried over a period from around 1000 years ago up until the late 1800s.

“In 1988 the remains were repatriated to the Gold Coast Aboriginal community and reburied a short distance from where the original burial ground was located.

“The excavation and repatriation activities associated with the Broadbeach Burial Ground played an important role in the development of the Queensland’s first cultural heritage legislation.

“Today, the preservation and conservation of Queensland’s Aboriginal cultural heritage are managed under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003, legislative recognition that Indigneous people are the primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Australia’s ancient cultures.”

Renowned curator of Queensland Museum’s This is my heritage exhibition, Michael Aird, has co-ordinated the event bringing together Traditional Owners, archaeologists, Aboriginal artists and members of the public to discuss and reflect upon the excavation and repatriation of the Broadbeach remains.

Special guests and key speakers include:

  • Dr Laila Haglund, the archaeologist who first excavated the Broadbeach site
  • Professor David Trigger, University of Queensland
  • Hague Best, Gold Coast City Council’s cultural heritage officer
  • Kevin Rains, coordinator of cultural heritage at Gold Coast City Council

The Broadbeach Burial Ground Excavation Commemoration takes place at Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society, 8 Elliott Street, Surfers Paradise on Sunday 15 November from 11am to 2.30pm. The cost is $25.00.

Please RSVP to Michael Aird, or 0417 760 160.


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