Jandai Language Map of Minjerriba

Quandamooka Language Map

Scientific evidence indicates that Quandamooka country has at least 20,000 years of Aboriginal history and less than 200 years of non-Aboriginal history. Yet, colonisation replaced most of the names that Aboriginal people used for places.

As a first step in reclaiming local place names, the Museum researched and produced a beautiful map showing the Jandai language words for various locations around the Island. The map is prominently displayed in the entrance of the Museum.  

The map is the product of many months of research and consultation with Quandamooka families.  It is also due to staff and volunteers from the Island and Museum having the opportunity of attending the State Library of Queensland’s Indigenous Language Research Workshops and the access to resources provided by Desmond Crump, the SLQ’s Indigenous Languages Coordinator.  A bequest from the family of Aunty Colleen Costello has enabled the production of the map. 

You can download a copy of the map here. Please feel free to print the map and share (for non-commercial purposes only.)

Retrieved from https://www.stradbrokemuseum.com.au/map August 26, 2018

Mulmakul; Death Adder

Auntie Margaret Iselin told me that Adder Rock's traditional name is Mulmakul meaning death adder and that Adder Rock was place of the death adder.

She also said to me that the old people knew it as a "place of healing" as they would lay upon the hot rocks. Mulmakul captures winter's gabura biyigi and and the last hours of summers setting biyigi. No matter what season 'jara' captures 'budlubara' here,  Mulmakul; yanggabara.

Words and spelling taken from Jandai Language Dictionary self published by the Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders-in-Council in 2011.


JOURNEYING: Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC) 2018 Festival

Every two or three years Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC) hosts a major regional festival attracting up to 3000 people from across the Kimberely. 2017 Festival was at Lombadina September 18-21. Photos by Jo-Anne Fay Duncan in Facebook gallery documents "arguably these are the largest festivals in Australia dedicated to promoting traditional Aboriginal culture" Retrieved from http://www.kalacc.org.au/news-events/festivals January 29, 2018


JOURNEYING: Kangaroo Island, Reflecting on Islands of the World Conference July 2017

The 15th Islands of the World Conference was a gathering of peoples at Kangaroo Island Australia, July 2-7 2017 organised by the ISISA the International Small Islands Studies Association. Conference themes were considered, determined and decided before island visitors arrived. How else to organise a rabble of renegade and retired academics, active senior citizens, young minds and hearts, smart people and passionate locals?

Kangaroo Island as host is beset with a near and imminent drive for tourism, looming branding and stamped packaging. Not for the faint hearted. Internationals and interstate visitors were rendered effete by it, despite the size of their heart. A conversation back in February 2014 with Delvene Cockatoo-Collins concerning Kangaroo Island at the 1st South East Queensland Island Forum ‘Tourism, Transport and Local Economies’ on Canaipa (Russell Island) questioned how any Kangaroo Island initiative could succeed with the Aboriginal understanding of it as place of the dead.

Of most interest at the 2017 conference were models of diplomatic activism and active citizenship.  Notions of island-ness and their jurisdictions were shared. Understandings of islands as incubators of ideas for global survival, ecological restoration and celebration were aired. 

The poetic academic writing about island as metaphor by Alice Teasdale in her paper On inhabited islands: Shakespeare, Stevenson, magic, colonisation and the public imagination, Professor Elizabeth McMahon sharing of poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner performance at the United Nations Climate Leaders Summit in 2014 and Amy Kerr Allen speaking about the sinking islands of Kiribati in her presentation An island out of water: challenges created by centralisation of population and services in Kiribati were engaging presentations and speakers.

Post conference conversation with Jackie Cooper back home at Minjerribah was of island as haven and a  character profiling of islanders as miscreants, misfits, buccaneers, pirates and voyagers.

Happy snaps follow by and of, we delegates and tourists of Kangaroo Island who are three generations of matrilineal descent from aetipical ancestor Matilda Brown who now reside on Quandamooka Country.

2014 1st South East Queensland Island Forum ‘Tourism, Transport and Local Economies’ program can be found at this link https://www.flinders.tas.gov.au/client-assets/images/Council/Downloads/Agendas/2014.02/Annexure%2017.%20Item%20B2.%201st%20South%20East%20QLD%20Island%20Forum.pdf

Islands of the World Conference July 2017, Kangaroo Island program link can be found at https://kangarooisland2017.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/isisa_2017conferenceprogram_finalweb.pdf

Magic Tree

Toondah Harbour has its own magic tree, hidden between harbour car park and G. J. Walter Park it is all but invisible to those coming and going, but for tree climbers and young at heart.

"Ficus macrophylla, commonly known as the Moreton Bay fig or Australian banyan, is a large evergreen banyan tree of the family Moraceae that is a native of most of the eastern coast of Australia, The fruits are small, round and greenish, ripening and turning purple at any time of year. The fruit is known as a syconium, an inverted inflorescence with the flowers lining an internal cavity. Like all figs, it has an obligate mutualism with fig wasps; figs are only pollinated by fig wasps. Coincidentally, cinema goers will recognize the Moreton Bay Fig from the celebrated Australian movie, ‘The Tree’ shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.

Next, the inner bark or roots were used to make a sturdy cloth and cord for bags as well as woven fishing nets. Also the branches as well as the bark were used to make waterproof dug-out canoes. Lastly, the milky sap, which exudes when the tree is cut was prepared as a medicine to treat infections and to dress small wounds. Paradoxically, it is found to be an irritant if it comes in direct contact with the skin.

Moreton Bay Fig Trees are native to Eastern Australia. They can reach a height of 40 m (approx. 130 ft) and have large buttress roots, sometimes as tall as a man"

Retrieved from https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/the-moreton-bay-fig-tree/ August 29 2017

Lyrical Writings of Cassim and Sandy Islands

Islands of Moreton Bay written by Helen Horton published by Brisbane Boolarong Publications in 1983 include this precious narrative of the two islands Cassim and Sandy which are so close to Nandeebie's (Cleveland) foreshore and Toondah Harbour. Writings such as this are testament to their contemporary cultural value.

Cassim and Sandy Island Geography

Cassim and Sandy Island Geography

Gold Cats Flyer exits Toondah Harbour approximately hourly every day between 5am and 8pm. Cassim Island is less than one kilometre from the harbour and Sandy two.

Tides were extremely low Saturday afternoon May 27. It revealed the eastern reach of Cassim all the way to Sandy Island and the otherwise underwater geologies and their interconnectedness.

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Moreton Bay

""The Moreton Bay is a bay located on the eastern coast of Australia 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from central Brisbane, Queensland. It is one of Queensland's most important coastal resources.[1] The waters of Moreton Bay are a popular destination for recreational anglers and are used by commercial operators who provide seafood to market.

The Port of Brisbane coordinates large traffic along the shipping channel which crosses the northern section of the bay. The bay serves as a safe approach to the airport and reduces noise pollution over the city to the west of the runway. A number of barge, ferry and water-taxi services also travel over the bay.

Moreton Bay was the site of conflict between the indigenous Quandamooka people and early European settlers. It contains environmentally significant habitats and large areas of sandbanks. The bay is the only place in Australia where dugong gather into herds. Many parts of the mainland foreshore and southern islands are settled.

Moreton Bay is described as lagoonal because of the existence of a series of off-shore barrier islands that restrict the flow of oceanic water.[2] The tidal range is moderate at 1.5–2 metres (4 ft 11 in–6 ft 7 in) in range. Moreton Bay has an average depth of 6.8 metres (22 ft).[2] This shallow depth lets light filter through to the seafloor, allowing an array of marine plants to grow which support a diverse range of fauna. The bay itself covers 1,523 square kilometres (588 sq mi) and has a catchment area 14 times larger, covering 21,220 square kilometres (8,190 sq mi).[2] The waters of the bay are mostly blue in colour. Western parts of the bay are sometimes tinted green from algae, brown from suspended sediments or yellow-brown from humic runoff.[2]"

1. South East Queensland Regional Strategic Group (2000). Strategic Guide to Natural Resource Management in South East Queensland. p. 56. ISBN 0-7345-1740-8.

2. Dennison, William C.; Abal, Eva G. (1999). Moreton Bay Study: A Scientific Basis for the Healthy Waterways Campaign. Brisbane: South East Queensland Regional Water Quality Management Strategy Team. pp. 23–25. ISBN 0-9586368-1-8.


(Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moreton_Bay March 23, 2017)

Quandamooka Place Names, Jandai Aboriginal Language

Quandamooka Place Names, Jandai Aboriginal Language

Aboriginal place names for the small islands of the Quandamooka include:

Coochimudlo Island - Goochie Goochie-pa / Goochie mudlo

Fisherman Island - Andaccahl

Green Island - Milwarpa / Danggar / Tangeera

Karragarra - Karragarra

Macleay Island - Jencoomercha

Moreton Island - Moorgumpin / Mulganpin / Moaraganpin

Mud Island - Bangamba

North Stradbroke Island - Minnjerriba / Terangeri

Peel Island - Jercroobai

Russell Island - Canaipa

South Stradbroke - Curragee / Garaji

St Helena - No-gun/Nugoon

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Industry at the Mouth of the Brisbane River and Fisherman Island

Silos and sand, cement and cars, coal, electricity and cargo.

Moreton Bay Marine Park

"Where is Moreton Bay Marine Park?

Nestled in Queensland’s south-east corner, Moreton Bay Marine Park covers 3400kmÇ and stretches 125km from Caloundra to the Gold Coast. The marine park includes most of the bay’s tidal waters including many estuaries and extends seawards to the limit of Queensland waters (see map on pages 2 and 3).

The landward boundary is generally the line of highest astronomical tide (HAT). What’s special about the marine park? Moreton Bay is one of the largest estuarine bays in Australia and sits in an ‘overlap zone’ where tropical and temperate species mix".

Taken from Moreton Bay Marine Park User Guide pdf published by Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing

St Helena Island; 65 years a Prison

St Helena Island at the mouth of the Brisbane River houses a museum and hosts many island visits from school groups studying incarceration and Brisbane's convict past.

The old lime kiln pictured here was used by prisoners to make lime from coral which was used for cement - a precursor to the coral dredging of Mud, St Helena and Green Island which began in 1937.

Where Have all the Fish Gone?

Dave Hannan writes "Vanishing World. All dead - from bleaching event earlier this year ....coral structure in place to remind us for a little while of what once was. No-one had ever dived this place before I filmed this. Its beautiful though - death in nature". 

The NOAA colour coded charts indicate alert levels on Coral Bleaching 2017.

Dave Hannan from the Tara Expedition says "The entire area I've been documenting and Pete West looks likely to be hit again this .... 3rd year in a row. Much of it was already dead. That's Papeete to Guam and further. Including Australia again. Pretty much the whole of Pacific and Indian Oceans It's looking like the most massive die off imaginable for corals will be the result of last 3 years climate change impacts on ocean temperature. This is an example of a global subject /ocean issue we should look at for one of my Cicada award categories and prizes".

MIgrating Birds

MIgrating Birds

Migrating Bar-Tailed Godwit 


The bar-tailed godwit migrates in flocks to coastal East Asia, Alaska, Australia, Africa, northwestern Europe and New Zealand, where the sub-species Limosa lapponica baueri is called 'Kūaka' in Māori. It was shown in 2007 to undertake the longest non-stop flight of any bird. ... The flight took approximately nine days.

Bar-tailed godwit - Wikipedia



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Cosmos and Gustav Holst's The Planets

Jonti Horner talks about 'a cosmos that is infinitely varied and remarkably old' on an ABC Radio conversation. His use of language and understanding of cosmology was inspiring and expansive. The music overlay of Gustav Holst's The Planets, was at once still and contemplative and also dramatic and colossal.
Cosmos ponderings are easily undertaken whilst floating on the Bay of an evening. Some snippets from this interview with Jonti Horner follow...

"earth would be stripped of its mantel"...
"material would be sloughed off into space"...
"devouring and cannibalising it's way through the depths of space"... 
"gravity nudges and tweaks"...

"Jupiter stirring things up making a bigger mess than ever"...
"the ongoing beauty of the solar system. It's a chaotic place"...
"over hundreds of thousands of years causes the earths orbit to periodicly rock, tilt... a little more circular, a little yes circular"...
"the light of the moon is about one millionth that of the sun"...

"revealing itself not by light but by gravitational sculpting"

Wild Flowers


The Girls' Friendly Society of Morningside came to Russell Island to give a concert, after which the young women collected wildflowers from Turtle Swamp. The islands were well known for their beautiful wildflowers, which were displayed each year on a flower stand at the Brisbane Exhibition."

A Short History of the Bay Islands (Russell, Karragarra, Lamb and Macleay) by Joanne Hackett. 2009