Kabi Kabi wisdom offered to council

FRESH IDEAS: Noosa CEO Brett de Chastel in camp with Kabi Kabi's Kerry Neal.
FRESH IDEAS: Noosa CEO Brett de Chastel in camp with Kabi Kabi's Kerry Neal. Brian Stockwell

A MEETING of Noosa's two vastly different custodians - Kabi Kabi and councillors including Mayor Tony Wellington have camped out together - in the wake of a successful native title claim registration.

Cr Brian Stockwell with the assistance of council community services director Fox Rogers, organised an informal camp on Noosa North Shore with a range of traditional owner families and senior council staff.

He said that before European settlement, thousands of traditional owners would congregate on the beach to take advantage of the winter mullet and tailor runs.

"It seemed fitting to recreate some of that tradition,” Cr Brian Stockwell said.

"We chatted, fished, ate and established a very good base for future discussions on a range of issues.”

As part of their community service award scheme, Noosa Sea Scouts helped with setting up the camp and catering.

"The camp was a great first step in finding common ground and sharing our priorities.

"The conversation is continuing and one of the Kabi Kabi elders, Helena Gulash, sits on Council's Heritage Reference Group.”

Cr Stockwell said the traditional owners weree passionate about the interpretation and protection of their cultural heritage and recently they were involved in upgrading display boards at the Noosa National Park to tell their story.

"I encourage people to stop and have a read next time they are in the park,” he said.

The councillor said the Kabi Kabi people recently made a submission to obtain State Government funding to introduce land and sea rangers to the Noosa area and beyond.

"I really hope they are successful in getting a couple of rangers form the 25 positions available,” Cr Stockwell said.

"Kabi Kabi people are very interested in conservation efforts aimed at protecting our local koalas. I think there is a great opportunity to get young Kabi Kabi people involved in training as part of the rehabilitation of the koala habitat.”

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