Photo by Jo Ellis
Uncle Bob Anderson OAM, Quandamooka Elder welcomes everyone to Quandamooka country and officially opens the festival. He is accompanied by Craig Ogilvie Councillor for Cleveland and Stradbroke Island and Jo Kaspari, Lines 2014 lead organizer.
Uncle Bob spoke to the crowd and read from the book History Life and Times of Robert Anderson, Gheebelum, Ngugi, Mulgumpin Community and Personal History of a Ngugi Elder of Mulgumpin in Quandamooka, South East Queensland, Australia by Eve Christine Peacock.
Uncle Bob said, “This land will always embrace people of good will and spirit, and went on to read from the Acknowledgements he wrote for the book:
“The vision of my country, the way I view or see my country, the way I talk or sing up my country, the way I talk of the stories of my country and talk about my Elders and Ancestors, this is my cultural heritage. The way I call their names as I walk the sacred places of my country and the way I remember their brave deeds on my land is my cultural heritage. My spiritual connection with the land is my cultural heritage. All these things are a part of my cultural heritage.
To walk my country, to gather the shell fish from the ocean beaches and the bay side beaches, is part of my cultural heritage. To see the changing nature of the flora with the seasons, to gather the wild flowers and to eat the berries and fruits of my country, reminds me of my mother and her connection to this my cultural heritage. To observe the birds, their migratory flight patterns, and nesting habitats, to understand how their presence fertilises, pollinates and regenerates the plant growth; how they herald the arrival of the deep-sea mullet, the whales and other sea inhabitants, for seasonal sustenance. This is the cultural heritage of my country.
To be with my family and community people walking the country together, making that strong spiritual connection with the land is my cultural heritage. To continue to walk the bora ground and practice my cultural rights and responsibilities, as well as acknowledge the importance of this continuation on my country, is my cultural heritage.
If we do not have access to our land, we are denied the right to maintain our practices that protect, preserve and nurture our land and our cultural heritage.”
Councillor Ogilvie – who counts four generations of his family having lived on Straddie – said that, “The Lines in the Sand Festival makes you appreciate even more what is everyday here on the island. The festival takes what is everyday and makes it sublime. Some of the best times I’ve spent on Stradbroke Island have been part of Lines in the Sand.”