One of the issues facing the Gubbi Gubbi is the telling of stories that do not reflect Traditional beliefs and understandings. The perpetration of these denies the Culture and Heritage of the Gubbi Gubbi. The people who tell these stories are disrespectful not only to Gubbi Gubbi people but to themselves. Organisations such as the ABC and Sunshine Coast Council provide a platform for these stories. It is a great pity they do not actually discuss these with the recognised Gubbi Gubbi people and Elders.
1. The Rainbow Serpent is not part of Gubbi Gubbi Culture and Heritage. The Rainbow Serpent exists in other cultures but not Gubbi Gubbi.
2. The "ancient" smoking ceremony is not a welcoming tradition. It is used at funerals for the departure of the dead's spirit. Imagine this being used in a Hospital (yes it was, organised by someone who failed to respect the Traditional Owners).
3. Beverley Hand states "Aboriginal groups built a number of permanent huts from wattle and tea trees, positioning them about 5 to 6 kilometers apart. The tribes moved from one hut to the next to allow the regeneration of local foodstuffs to occur, or if a death occurred in the tribe". This flies in the face of the fact that the Gubbi Gubbi were nomadic people moving through the land moving inland in the winter and back to the coast in the summer months. The description of homes and the like are South Sea Island derivations.
4. Bianca Bond tells the story of Ninderry and Mt Coolum in the Sunshine Coast Regional Council Reconciliation Action Report. The Gubbi Gubbi deny this story and consider it very bad manners for the SCRC RAP to carry this story.
5. The same report indicates that the Gubbi Gubbi Traditional Owners were involved but they are unable to substantiate this 5 months after the matter was raised with the CEO. The CEO sends a response to Senior Elders to clarify through a subordinate who does not follow up. Would the CEO do this if an Industry leader sought clarification of who authorised a statement on behalf of the company? The SCRC as a government authority should at least know protocol and procedures. The question is "What does the SCRC advise people when they enquire about Native Title and procedures when land is being cleared" for example? If they are not responding with Gubbi Gubbi Traditional Owners then major fines for unauthorised clearing may well follow.
6. There is an organisation, Interactive Community Planning (ICP), who claim to be a "community development consultancy which offers a holistic solution to bring commercial activities (i.e. mining, infrastructure & development) and Aboriginal groups, into a harmonious relationship under the Queensland Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act of 2003." The issue here is that they do not do this on the Gubbi Gubbi Traditional lands. Anyone dealing with this organisation in this area should take great care that services under the Cultural and Heritage Act in Gubbi Gubbi lands are performed with the agreement of the Traditional Owners. The penalties for clearing land, without Traditional Owners agreement are severe.
7. The Gubbi Gubbi language is a historic language. There are few Gubbi Gubbi language speakers however some people, without a traditional appreciation, claim to know, or be learning, the language. The Indigenous Traditional Gubbi Gubbi speakers such as Dr Eve Fesl, OAM, CM, PhD a Gubbi Gubbi speaker with her PhD in linguistics is not even approached to assist. Dr Fesl recently attended the Federal Government's meetings in Canberra on Indigenous Languages as well as a luncheon with the Governor General in recognition of her contribution to indigenous languages. yet funding is secured in defiance of existing knowledge.
8. Beverley Hand on ABC Radio makes some serious language errors.
In talking about Mudjimba she claims "mudjim" to be a young woman and "ba" to mean coming from.
Now the SCRC site tells me that "mudjim" means the Midyim shrub. It's Beverley versus SCRC on Gubbi Gubbi words.
Now to "ba"
Again on the SCRC explaining one of its place names says "Weyba - A number of places along the Sunshine Coast end in -ba, this being the Aboriginal term for place. Weyba (or it has earlier been spelt Weiba and Wyeba) probably means the place of stingrays or it could be the place of the flying squirrels".
That is "ba" means the place of, not "la". This also agrees with Gubbi Gubbi speakers who DO NOT TALK OF WOMAN'S INITIATION.
From the SCRC site
Cooroiba - place of possums
Cootharaba - place of wood for clubs
Diddilibah - place of coarse grass
Kiamba - place of cockatoos
Mooloolaba - place of red bellied black snake
Mudjimba - place of midyim shrub
Not a "la" among them. Perhaps Beverley can explain this next time she discusses the language.
Back to Mooloolaba for a moment. Beverley says "mooloo" means darkness and "la" means place of therefore Mooloolaba means place of darkness. Now my reference has dark as "Mul'lu" meaning dark in colour, an adjective. It says darkness is "wuin-dhau" time of darkness or night time - a noun. Further it says darkness is "wuin" also a noun.
The black snake is also "mul'lu"
The SCRC, defines the meaning as place of the red bellied black snake. I'm sure the ABC can make sense of that. It's a pity they don't check their stuff with the Traditional Owners and get it right for culture, history and language's sake as one would expect the ABC to do.