Day 16: North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia
Stradbroke Island is, in short, one of my favourite places in South East Queensland. Affectionately known as Straddie, it has beautiful clean beaches, steeped in amazing Indigenous history and culture, and only an hour from the centre of Brisbane. 50 percent of the island is national park and this percentage will increase in the years ahead.
Some of my happiest memories were of taking my son there for a holiday and hanging out with friends, renting a little cabin at the caravan park across the road from the beach.
Here is a potted history from the Tourism site:
The first inhabitants arrived at least 40,000 years ago and North Stradbroke Island is now home to the Noonuccal, Nughie and Goenpul Aboriginal people, who call it Minjerribah. The first recorded European sighting was in 1770 when James Cook named Point Lookout. Colonial settlement began in the 1820′s.
The word Quandamooka means Moreton Bay.
Aboriginal middens have been found on Straddie that date settlement back as far as 25,000 years ago. The Quandamooka people have a unique cultural heritage that they share through their storytelling, art and dance performances.
You can check out some of the Cultural Talks and Cultural Awareness Activities. In 2011 Australia officially acknowledged their traditional ownership, recognising their native title rights to areas of North Stradbroke Island and surrounding waters.
As a young person, the poetry of Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) awoke me to social justice issues for Aboriginal peoples in Australia. Stradbroke Island was her home and she established Moongalba as a cultural and educational centre on the island. She contributed much to the reconciliation movement through her work as a writer, activist and artist.
There are a few ways to get there: via a vehicle ferry, passenger ferries and the water taxi. You can find out more information on the Straddie Tourism site.