Council Chambers to home Traditional Owners recognition

NAIDOC 2019

The Council Chambers inside Rockhampton’s City Hall will soon be home to a new, commissioned Coolamon in recognition of the Darumbal people’s traditional ownership of the land across our region.

Communities Chair Councillor Rose Swadling said she was delighted the project was progressing.

“Commissioning some form of permanent and tangible recognition of the Darumbal people in Chambers is something we have been working on for quite some time.

“Darumbal Enterprise have recently come back to us and confirmed they have chosen to create a Coolamon, which is a multi-purpose shallow vessel.

“It will have a Welcome to Country inscribed in its centre acknowledging the place on which Rockhampton Regional Council meet.

“The Darumbal people have inhabited the land we now call the Rockhampton Region for thousands and thousands of years, and it’s only right that we have a constant and permanent reminder of that history and traditional ownership in the heart of City Hall.”

Darumbal elder Aunty Nicky Hatfield said Coolamons were traditionally used by Aboriginal women to carry water, fruit, nuts, as well as to cradle babies. Coolamons were carried on the head when travelling any distance, or under the arm if used as a cradle.

“Coolamons are usually made from a hardwood such as mallee. In Central Australia, the bean tree was often used.

“A piece of the outer bark of the tree is removed, then moulded over the fire to give it its distinctive curved sides.

“The Coolamon for Rockhampton Regional Council is not just about the exchange of an item, but also about intangible heritage by way of knowledge that is being shared within community as the Coolamon is being made.”

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