Council commemorates National Reconciliation Week

“I want people to see what a beautiful creature he is, how special he is – and the old Wobbegong is so often forgotten. I want people to see that beauty, so I put him up there in bright red” – Belinda Close, artist.

The beauty of one of the Redlands’ much loved Wobbegongs will adorn a new meeting room in Cleveland library to commemorate Redland City Council’s commitment to National Reconciliation Week.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said a permanent display would be unveiled at the library on 27 May to reinforce the importance of Reconciliation Week.

“Council will mark this occasion by unveiling two new meeting rooms that will include Aboriginal artwork and a commitment to the Quandamooka people,” Cr Williams said.

“The Quandamooka people are the original inhabitants of the Redlands and so this project will recognise the important role Aboriginal culture plays in the Redlands.

“This cultural significance will be re-enforced by the reproduction of artwork ‘Baby Wobbegong’ from local Aboriginal artist and long-time resident Belinda Close. This piece of art shows the beauty of the Wobbegong using rich colours and Aboriginal art techniques.

“The importance of Reconciliation Week in uniting all Australians will also be reflected through Council’s commitment to the Quandamooka people, with a message to be displayed on the wall of the new Cleveland Library public meeting room.

“Our commitment is part of Council’s 2030 community plan and recognises the important role the Quandamooka People play in the history of the Redlands.” (The commitment is included in the attached).

Cr Williams said the new meeting rooms would be unveiled at a special National Reconciliation Week event that would include local dignitaries, elders and Aboriginal artists.”

“The larger room will display a series of photos of local elders and a number of local Aboriginal artworks to represent the rich Aboriginal history of the Redlands – along with Council’s statement of commitment to the Quandamooka people. This meeting room will be available for use by residents,” she said.

“The smaller meeting room will be called the Mil Binnung room which translates to, “listen and to observe.” It will feature a photo of Dr Robert (‘Uncle Bob’) Anderson along with the speech he gave at the Consent Determination Hearing when native title was granted in 2011.”

Council’s Senior Advisor Aboriginal Partnerships Di Andrews said the inclusion of photos of local elders was very significant, and that they would remain as a permanent wall display.

“The fact that we have 27 local elders who have allowed Council to use their photos to celebrate our commitment to the Aboriginal community is fantastic and I would like to congratulate and thank them for their involvement,” she said.

Council’s National Reconciliation Week activities will also include the dedication of a welcoming space in the library.

This space will include art from local Aboriginal artists Craig Tapp and Dean Tyson, as well as Aboriginal books and magazines so people can learn more about Aboriginal culture.