Aboriginal Day of Remembrance: Brisbane Mayor promises to honour Aboriginal warriors

At the remembrance day ceremony on 2 Feb 2011 organised by Brisbane Murris there was a speech given by sister girl, Morning Star, who comes from North Queensland.

Morning Star gave her speech  in Post Office square at the site of Dundali’s hanging.

She talks the problems in the Murray Darling system and lack of consultation with the custodians of the land where these great rivers run – sister speaks of where she comes from (Cohen in Nth Qld) – she talks about money games by whitefellas  and how her name was taken from her by white colonialisation.

At the end of her speech, sister sings her naming song that she got from her uncle when she was 30 years of age. Morning Star is now 59 years of age.

Here is her speech and her sad, beautiful song:

There was a smoking ceremony both where Dundali’s gallows stood near the GPO and over at the Queensland museum where Aboriginal remains are held waiting to be released to their people.

Kooma murri man, Wayne ‘Coco’ Wharton, from western Queensland  extracted a promise from the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell-Newman, that the Murri warriors like Dundali and Watego would be honoured. Discussions are to be commenced about the best way to do that. Lets hope that Campbell Newman who took time out to come to the ceremony at the Queensland museum lives up to his promise [it is now 2013 and he still has not kept his public promise].

Ian Curr
3 Feb 2011

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MEDIA RELEASE for the Aboriginal Day of Remebrance

Lest We Forget

26th January Last Days of Freedom

For Aboriginal First Nations

Tribal Elders to Conduct Sacred Smoking Ceremony

Hundreds of Aboriginals from Aboriginal Nations across Queensland will come together at the Brisbane GPO and Qld Museum where Tribal Nation Elders will conduct the sacred smoking ceremony to mourn, honour and remember the many thousands of Aboriginals killed by the British invaders from 26th January 1788 onwards, in wars and battles against Aboriginal First Nations sovereign homelands  throughout Australia.

Mr Bob Weatherall, Aboriginal leader and Chair of the Centre for Indigenous Cultural Policy (now [2013] Chair, Kamilaroi Land Trust), said “Men, women and children were Slaughtered, Poisoned, Murdered and stolen by the body snatchers, in the aftermath of the British invasion.

“An annual Aboriginal Remembrance Day will honour the thousands of Aboriginal men,  women  and children fallen Heroes who resisted the British invasion of our sovereign homelands, as well as those brave men and women killed serving with Australian forces in wars outside Australia,” added Mr Weatherall.

We will mourn the unknown and the heroes – such as Dundalli, hanged in 1834 at the Brisbane GPO,  Yagen, Pemulwuy, Truganini, Jandamarra and Battles such as in Brisbane Valley, Botany Bay, Kilcoy, Myall Creek (Moree NSW), Battle Mountain (Mt Isa) and Tasmania.

No matter how many times white Australians celebrate the arrival of the British, We First Free People of Australia will not forget the British invasion of our lands, commenced on 26 January 1788, the  undeclared wars of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries  waged against our people and the ongoing theft and destruction of our tribal homelands, our communities, our cultural practice birthrights. We will continue to fight for our rights and justice for our people, generation after generation.

To be truly a mature just and fair Australian society, our history – the Black History of Australia – should also be taught to our children in schools

All Queenslanders should assemble at the GPO at 11-00am and Qld Museum at

1-00pm on Wednesday 2nd February, to join us in our mourning”, Mr Weatherall said.

Contact for more information Bob Weatherall 0429091452, Wayne Wharton 0408064900, Sam Watson 0401227443.

6 thoughts on “Aboriginal Day of Remembrance: Brisbane Mayor promises to honour Aboriginal warriors

  1. Joe Toscano remembers says:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfFeVf2X8RI]

  2. Sacred Aboriginal remains lie on the fifth floor of the Qld Museum in Grey Street, South Brisbane. These remains are part of a larger collection of sacred body tissues, bones, uteri, penises, foetuses that are held in the National Museum of Australia, University Collections and in State archives like the one in the Queensland Museum. Some are still held in private collections and others remain overseas.

    Why?

    Why would a curator of a museum wish to hold these sacred remains – vestiges of colonial domination? There are laws in place that claim to authorise the repatriation of the aboriginal remains.

    These laws and many others i.e. Native Title do claim to offer to return to aboriginal people their just entitlements. However over the years we have learnt to distrust such laws and such claims.

    We have learnt, slowly, that aboriginal people are tied to their ancestors in a spiritual way. We know that they are bound to their spirits and to the land from which they came. Some of us still deny this, but it is true nonetheless. Some aboriginal people work in these museums and know what should be done. However these few aboriginal people do not run the museums.

    Such matters should be in the control of the aboriginal community, their elders and the traditional owners. They should be allowed to return these sacred remains to their place of resting.

    Take Dundali for instance. We do not know where his remains lie. Did someone hide his body in a tree to keep it from the whitefella, it would not be the first time. Dundali was hung in front of the GPO in Brisbane on the 5th January, 1834. The settlers came out in force to see Dundali hung. With his kinsmen Dundali waged war against the colonialists, he was charged with killing 13 men and stealing sheep. Dundali had the support of tribes around Brisbane including the Turrbal and Jagera people. There are many other heroes of aboriginal resistance to colonisation throughout Australia – Watego, Pemulwuy, Boatman, Trugannini to nae a few.

    These stories are carried in the hearts of some. Here is one account of Dundali’s story:

    “One of the most notorious of Aboriginal ppl to be hung there was Dundali.. (dont remember the spelling) he waged war against the settlers and was on the run for more than 10 years.. he was finally captured in what is now Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley near where the Bruswick Hotel stands.
    Dundali was arrested and then taken to the Gallows where the GPO now stands…they gathered all aboriginal ppl from the region, men and women and children and they were made to watch while he was hung…

    The sad part about Dundali was that he was a hero to our ppl at the time… and when they hung him the rope was too long.. he fell to the ground probably breaking some bones in his legs, and because he didnt die immediately he was yanked by the legs and pulled forwards so the rope around his neck took on the full force of his body, so in actual fact he was strangled to death..

    I dont mean to talk about something that is sad but i think we need to remember the truth.. so we can learn forgiveness… so we can move forward.. so many of our ppl still live with the hurts of yesterday… ppl ask why it is we still cant forget… we walk across our sacred ground everyday… the sorrow of our ancestors is with us til we die… the best we can do now is live a strong, healthy life, and make those we love and those who love us proud of who we are and never forget the struggles of yesterday..

    Your memory is still with us Dundali, and Dundalli House in Brisbane that looks after our young men is your legacy.”

    A keeping place needs to be set up under the control of the aboriginal community – it could even be in the Queensland Museum if access and control was assured and proper consultation entered into.

    Ian Curr
    31 January 2011

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