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ANCIENT AUSTRALIA

The history and culture of the 'Great South Land' and it's Sovereign Tribal Nations.

KABI SACRED SITES - PROTECTING CULTURAL HERITAGE

The Kabi Kabi speaking peoples and the Kabi Sovereign Tribes of South East Queensland have struggled like all First Nation Peoples, to protect their sacred sites from destruction, ever since the first 'white settlers' set foot on Kabi Bunya Djha, their Bunya Country. The Australian Government has no permission to interfere with Kabi Kabi sacred sites, as they were never sold or given to the Crown, and therefore, as acknowledged in British and Australian law, the Crown and Parliament have no lawful jurisdiction over Kabi land.1 Currently the Premier of Queensland recognises the Kabi situation, however refuses to make comment.        

DJAKI KUNDU  

Djaki Kundu (Rocky Ridge in English) is an ancient Kabi sacred site on the outskirts of Gympie. It is a very culturally significant sacred landscape constructed by Kabi Ancestors, and is the place which protects a powerful healing crystal.

Djaki Kundu is connected to the Seven sisters dreaming, and the creation of Kabi.  The site is also known to some people as 'The Gympie Pyramid'. Many people come to the sacred site from all over the world, though few are aware of it's true nature. The sacred site at Rocky Ridge is an ancient 'terraced' hill, which is integral to Kabi Kabi Dreamtime stories relating to the Star Ancestors. The Kabi Kabi Sovereign Tribes of the Gympie region never sold or gave their Country to 'The British Crown' or anyone else, and therefore remain the Sovereign Tribal Owners of the sacred site at Rocky Ridge. It is part of Kabi Kabi Law that sacred sites must be protected. Despite being informed of the significance of the site to the Kabi Kabi peoples, Australian governments planned the destruction of the site at Rocky Ridge many years ago, as part of the plans for highway upgrades in Queensland. The Kabi Kabi Sovereign Tribes of the Gympie Region have made it clear that they are not trying to obstruct government with their plans to upgrade roads, however they insist that all sacred sites must be protected, and alternate routes must be negotiated for highway upgrades. 

Below is a picture showing a part of the ancient site at Rocky Ridge, published with permission of Kabi  Elders.

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On Thursday the 18th June 2015, workers contracted by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, were discovered drilling holes in the sacred site, by Kabi Kabi Tomlinson family representative and Sovereign Owner of the Gympie region, Wit-boooka Kabi. Wit-boooka explained to the workers that they were trespassing and destroying sacred land, in defiance of  tribal law, Acts of the Crown, and Queensland cultural heritage laws. He exercised his rights as a Sovereign Owner, and demanded that the trespassers leave. Kabi Kabi Elders Aunty Bev Muckan and Aunty Bucky Tomlinson joined Wit-boooka to publicise the illegal actions of Government agencies, who are attempting to destroy an ancient and sacred cultural heritage site of significance to the Kabi Kabi Sovereign owners of the Gympie Region. The destruction of 'Aboriginal Cultural Heritage' is an offence under laws passed by Parliament in the Queensland Cultural Heritage Act 2003.2 Kabi Sovereign Owners from Gympie are pursuing the matter with Government.

Image below shows an extract from the 20/06/2015 edition of the Gympie Times, regarding the Kabi Kabi position on the attempted destruction of sacred sites.3     

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The Queensland Government also listed for public sale, another very important sacred place in the Mary River Valley known as Mimburi.  Recently the sacred lands at Mimburi were advertised for private sale by the state government, despite the continuing use of the many sacred sites, and utilisation of the property for youth, education, and cultural activities by Kabi Kabi peoples of the Mimburi Upper Mary Aboriginal Association. Mimburi was previously set aside by the government for Kabi Kabi use, due to it's high cultural significance. The property has now been given to a non Kabi school, and Kabi tribes are concerned that such culturally significant areas are knowingly alienated from tribal use, and sacred sites and areas are at risk of destruction.

The extract below from the 20/06/2015 edition of the Gympie Times mentions the fact the property was removed from sale.4 

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The members of the Sovereign Native Tribes of the Kabi First Nation State are currently involved in legal actions against the Australian Government authorities. Sovereign Kabi tribal Law man Wit-boooka was incarcerated for two months,  as a result of being arrested and charged with trespass, public nuisance and numerous assaults along with his cousin Mervyn and Diane of Djaki Widjung, who were bailed with similar charges. This matter occurred when the three Kabi Sovereign tribal representatives exercised their spiritual and religious obligation to attended Gympie Regional Council Chambers to present a Tribal eviction notice to the Council on 31st May 2016, in an attempt to persuade government authorities to cease their unlawful acts which include the destruction of sacred sites and complicity in the acts of genocide against the Kabi  Nation. 

After two and a half years the matters are still continuing in Gympie Courts.

REFERENCES

1   King William the Fourth, Letters Patent Erecting and Establishing the Province of South Australia, 19 February 1836, Available from Australian Government  Founding Documents website: http://foundingdocs.gov.au/resources/transcripts/sa2_doc_1836.pdf

     Queen Victoria, The Pacific Islander Protection Act 1875 UK, Ozcase Queensland Historical Legal Collection website, available from:
     http://ozcase.library.qut.edu.au/qhlc/documents/qr_paci_pacific_1875_38-39_Vic_c51.pdf 

     

2  Queensland Cultural Heritage Act.

3  Arthur Gorrie, 'Hwy Legal Battle Looms', Gympie Times, June 20, 2015, p. 5. 

4  Francis Klein, 'Mimburi land safe from sale',  Gympie Times, June 20, 2015, p. 4.