Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island, the
traditional homes of the Quandamooka people
Quandamooka people are an
Aboriginal Australian group that live
Moreton Bay in Southeastern Queensland. They are composed of
three distinct tribes, the Nunukul, the Goenpul[a] and the Ngugi, and
they live primarily on Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands, that form
the eastern side of the bay. Many of them were pushed out of their
lands when the English colonial government established a penal colony
near there in 1824. Each tribe has its own language. A number of local
food sources are utilised by the tribes.
3.4 Art and tools
4 Native title
5 Prominent people
5.1 Oodgeroo Noonuccal
5.2 Leeanne Enoch
5.3 Lisa Bellear
5.4 Bob Bellear
5.5 Megan Cope
The term Quandamooka refers geographically to the southern Moreton
Bay, the waters, islands and adjacent coastal areas of the
Goenpul tribes lived on Stradbroke
Island, while the Ngugi tribe lived on Moreton Island. The Nunukul,
Goenpul and Ngugi tribes together constitute the Quandamooka
The archaeological remains of the
Moreton Bay islands were studied
intensively by V.V. Ponosov in the mid 1960s, and indigenous
occupation of the islands seems to go back at least some 18,000 years
Quandamooka people first encountered Europeans in 1799, when the
English navigator and cartographer
Matthew Flinders passsed several
weeks exploring Moreton Bay. The
Moreton Bay people occasionally
took in and cared for English ticket-of-leave castaways, most notably
Thomas Pamphlet, Richard Parsons and John Finnegan, whom the explorer
John Oxley found when he sailed into the bay in 1823. The first
settlement, a penal colony, was established the following year by
Oxley at Redcliffe with 50 settlers, 20-30 of whom were
convicts.[b] Contacts were scarce for over a decade, as no free
settlers were allowed to enter within a 50 mile radius of the
penal colony. As free settlers began to move in, the indigenous
peoples were pushed out of the more fertile lands into the coastal
fringe, with many of them moving to the less occupied small
islands. The three Quandamooka peoples each faced dispossession
and the loss of their hunting and fishing grounds. The presence of
settlers introduced a number of diseases that ravaged the islands and
coastal areas. Forced displacements and the removal of children also
had an impact. The indigenous people living on Stradbroke island
were able to sustain their lifestyle for the longest period; however,
in 1897 the Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the sale of Opium
Act moved all indigenous people to reservations, with the exception of
those who were imprisoned or were employed as servants.[citation
The lifestyle of the
Quandamooka people was nomadic, moving between
semi-permanent campsites. They built shelters of various kinds,
ranging from simple lean-tos for an overnight stay to more robust huts
used at well-frequented campsites. Their traditions were recorded in
the form of art, songs, and dances.
The three tribes that comprise the
Quandamooka people spoke dialects
of a Durubalic language. The language that the
Goenpul tribe of
central and southern
Stradbroke Island speaks is Jandai, and the
Nunukul dialect of northern Stradbroke island was called Moondjan, the
term for its distinctive word for 'no'.
Quandamooka people used several local food sources, including many
from the ocean. The collection of these resources was often segregated
by gender. Canoes were used to fish in
Moreton Bay for Mullet, and to
hunt Dugongs and Sea Turtles. They were also used to travel to the
mainland to hunt.
Hunting and fishing were male specialisations. Dugongs were highly
prized catch, because of their multiple uses. The meat was roasted and
eaten, while medicinal oil was also obtained from the animals. The men
used several different techniques to catch fish. These included
netting them from canoes using nets made of vines or bark, spearing
them, and trapping them.
The collection of other sources of food was done by women. These
included shellfish, fern roots,
Pandanus trees, insect larvae,
berries, lily bulbs, honey, and small game. The fern roots were
roasted and pounded into flour, while the fleshy part of Pandanus
trees were used to make a drink. The game animals consumed by the
Quandamooka included lizards, snakes, waterbirds, and marsupials.
Art and tools
Quandamooka people made several tools and weapons from materials
found locally. These included boomerangs and shields, as well as dilly
bags made from woven reeds. These tools were frequently decorated with
patterns, which were either burned or painted. Tools and weapons were
also occasionally traded with other nearby tribes.
On 4 July 2011, the
Quandamooka people were granted Native title to a
568-square-kilometre (219 sq mi) plot of land, following a
16-year legal battle. The title that was granted covered most of North
Stradbroke Island, many smaller islands, and the adjoining parts of
Moreton Bay. The title was the first granted to indigenous people in
Oodgeroo Noonuccal (born Kath Walker, 1920-1993) was one of the most
nationally prominent members of the Quandamooka people. She served as
a wireless operator in the Australian Women's Army Service, and later
became a poet. She was also a political activist, campaigning for
Aboriginal rights. Oodgeroo was best known for her poetry, and was
hailed as the first
Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of
Leeanne Enoch, a Quandamooka of Nunukul-Nughi descent, is the Labor
party member for the district of Algester in the
since 2015. She is the first indigenous woman to be elected to the
Parliament of Queensland.
Lisa Bellear (2 May 1961 in Melbourne, Victoria – 5 July 2006 in
Melbourne) was an Indigenous Australian poet, photographer, activist,
spokeswoman, dramatist, comedian and broadcaster. Bellear was a
broadcaster at the community radio station 3CR in Melbourne where she
presented the show 'Not Another Koori Show' for over 20 years.
Bob Bellear also known as Robert William "Bob" Bellear (17 June 1944
— 15 March 2005) was an Australian social activist, lawyer and
judge. Robert was the first
Aboriginal Australian judge. His
grandmother was an
Aboriginal Australian woman from Minjerribah,
married to a
Vanuatu man blackbirded Jack Corowa.
Megan Cope is a contemporary Indigenous Australian artist. Cope is a
member of the Brisbane based Indigenous Art Collective ProppaNOW and
was the winner of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award 2015 for
her video satire of Australian stereotypes over indigenous inclusion
^ The Goenpul's contemporary descendants prefer the ethnonym Dandrubin
^ Dutton, in 1983, 4 years before Hughes' book, writes of 20 convicts
and 14 soldiers, plus an assortment of help and family.
^ Fox 2011, p. 106.
^ Ross et al. 2016, p. 4.
^ a b O'Faircheallaigh 2015, p. 125.
^ Connors 2015, p. 30.
^ Ponosov 1974.
^ Diamond 2012, p. 1.
^ Dutton 1983, p. 93.
^ Dutton 1983, pp. 94–95.
^ Hughes 2010, pp. 441–442.
^ a b Dutton 1983, p. 96.
^ a b c d e f wynnummanly.com.
^ Ivanitz 2000, p. 83.
^ Dixon 2002, p. xxxiv.
^ Collins 1994, p. 1.
^ Collins 1994, pp. 2–3.
^ Fox 2011, p. 109.
^ Robertson 2015.
^ Green 2015.
^ a b Brown 2006.
^ Manning 2005.
^ Northover 2014.
^ Rainforth 2015.
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