Minjerribah, May 27, 2017

Minjerribah is that long, tapering protector of South Moreton Bay, the big island along which Canaipa nestles, and elongates toward the southern tip. There, the two islands end simultaneously, and a new, broad passage opens up, with South Stradbroke Island forming the other edge of this open corridor to the ocean. From Canaipa Island, we look upon Minjerribah's sheer western side, where the beaches are narrow, kept brief by tidal currents. Further north, where the bay broadens, Minjerribah's western beaches widen: Blakesley's beach, where a series of tidal wetlands break up the land, just in from the shore, then Adam's Beach, then Dunwich. On Saturday, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins welcomed nine of us to country, at Adam's Beach. We were invited to explore the beach in the spirit of respectful inquiry. In the afternoon, Delvene took us to Brown Lake. This is what Sonja Carmichael, a traditional woman and a weaver, of Mijerribah, said about this place:

"Our Jandai language word for Brown Lake is Bummiera.  For the Quandamooka people Bummiera is a place of traditional culture and learning.... and ... a sacred womens site. Tracks lead to Bummiera from Goompi, One Mile and Myora, through areas of beautiful wild flowers. As mentioned around the late 1990s  came the protection of Bummiera which was under threat from recreational and other activities.  Redland Shire Council banned motorised sports from Bummiera."