The Gold Coast region is rich with indigenous history and if you’re anything like us, you want to soak up every single bit of it.
For example, did you know Aboriginal people inhabited the local region for over 23,000 years before European settlers arrived, leaving behind numerous sacred sites just waiting to be discovered. Of course, It’s never too late to pay tribute to and educate yourself about the deep-seated Indigenous culture of our city.
Here are six places to get you started.
Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
The Jellurgal Aboriginal Centre is located at the bottom of Burleigh’s Headland. Watch Aboriginal artists create traditional artwork, browse the paintings for sale and see Aboriginal artefacts such as dilly bags, shields and other tools and instruments that were part of everyday life. Burleigh Heads National Park is a very important and sacred Indigenous place that, to this day, offers an amazing insight into the world of the Kombumerri people including many dreamtime stories about how Burleigh Hill and Talle Creek came to be. Go on a guided tour to discover all that is hidden, choose between half or full day tours starting at $20.
Where: Right next to the Tallebudgera Creek car park, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Bora Ring Site (Jebbribillum)
The Bora Memorial Rock can be found in the Jebbribillum Bora Park beside the Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh/Miami. Thousands of people pass it every day without realising its significance. The rock is dedicated to the Indigenous men and women of the Gold Coast region who served in Australian war conflicts from 1914 to 1991. It was once the site where young Australian Aboriginals were initiated into their tribe in special ceremonies.
Where: Corner Gold Coast Highway and Sixth Avenue, Burleigh Heads
Bond University is home to Australia’s largest private collection of Indigenous art on public display. Tracing the evolution of Indigenous art from the traditional Western Desert Movement to the colourful contemporary styles, the Corrigan Walk is now attracting international acclaim. The unique collection features the works of Australia’s most celebrated and admired Indigenous artists including Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Sally Gabori, Tommy Watson and Gloria Petyarre. The Corrigan Walk Art Tour is a free tour once a semester providing insight into these works and highlighting the artists and dreamtime stories woven into each piece and the history of Indigenous art.
Where: 14 University Drive, Robina
Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre
For a unique insight into Aboriginal culture, the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is a great place to start. On offer are museum exhibits, informative videos, Aboriginal art and traditional dances are performed regularly in the outdoor performance area. Go on a tour and hear how Aboriginal life was when this area was an untouched paradise of natural forest and mangroves, before learning about the cultural significance of Bora Ring, which you can see on the Walk on Water walking track.
Where: 17 Kirkwood Road, Tweed Heads South
The Yugambeh Museum
The Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre aims to record and promote the traditional knowledge of our region, especially the Yugambeh language which was spoken throughout South-East Queensland. The team work with and bring the community together through many initiatives centred around cultural and educational exchange, so that future generations have the opportunity to embrace the language, hear stories and truly connect with their Indigenous legacy as a relevant part of their today and tomorrow. It’s an incredible place, absolutely packed with knowledge and you should make it a priority to get there ASAP.
Where: Corner Plantation Road & Martens Street, Beenleigh
Created by one of the largest Traditional Owner Families within the Aboriginal Yugembeh Bundjalaung nations of South East QLD, + Far North NSW, Currie Country is the perfect place to learn about our Indigenous history, connections to country and Aboriginal knowledge systems which exist in the Tweed Coast as you connect to the country they call ‘Currie Country’. They run a beautiful Women’s Cruise on the Tweed River where you can learn, connect and create with like-minded women AND an incredible Women’s Retreat which is the perfect chance to rest and re-enliven yourself. We absolutely LOVE the work these incredible women do and you will do. Get down there ASAP.
Where: Tweed Valley Way, Tweed Heads
Words by Kirra Smith