HUMAN SKELETON ON THE HEADLAND
MEDIA RELEASE - 25 January 2020
The Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal community of North Stradbroke Island continue to oppose the proposed whale interpretive centre to be built on the headland at Point Lookout.
If it goes ahead, the centre will display they bones of a whale that washed ashore an island beach, plagued with lice only a few years ago. The human skeleton on display at the sacred headland today is a representation of what the whale bones would represent. The whale, yalingbila, is our kin. This could be your father, your mother, your grandmother, grandfather, sibling- not treated with the respect or dignity they deserves. When whales die at sea, they are buried at sea.
Numerous protests have taken place and a petition with 24,000+ signatures (population of the island is approximately 3,000) oppose the project. The Island community has spoken. Simply put, they do not want the centre built at the proposed location. Yet so many of their questions remain unanswered and concerns ignored. Here are some of the questions:
Why disturb the natural beauty of this site with a building?
Why are the State Government and QYAC ignoring community? And the 24,000 people who signed a petition against this proposal going ahead?
Who will this project bring joy, who will be happy to see the remains of a whale hanging on this site? Why has yalingbila not been treated with the respect it deserves - this is not the Quandamooka way.
We do not want a whale interpretive centre built on the sacred headland of Mooloomba. We do not need it to enjoy the views, to educate us (we all use google these days). We do not want it to ruin the grazing land of the kangaroos that live here. And we absolutely do not want the remains of the sacred Yalingbila displayed- return it to the ocean.
Despite all community efforts, QYAC and the State Government continue to ignore the masses. Take for example, only last week the whale remains have been shipped overseas to be cleaned, to get ready for display - they were smoked and blessed. This apparent cultural act does, in no way, make displaying the whale bones ok.
We understand $3 million dollars has been allocated to this project.