Issue 5 - November 2016 Posted: Wednesday 30 November 2016

Tropical tourism honoured at awards ceremony

(l-r) Natalie Chapman, Rachael Hodges, Roy Gibson.

The Mossman Gorge Centre in Far North Queensland has won 3 awards in the Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s Queensland Tourism Awards.

Earlier this month, 900 guests gathered at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre to celebrate Queensland’s tourism achievements at the awards, which attracted approximately 160 entries from across the state and a total of 72 awards. The awarding of the Mossman Gorge Centre shines a spotlight on the Indigenous eco-tourism development, offering visitors an insight into the lives, culture and beliefs of Australia’s Indigenous population and their connection to the natural environment.

“We are really proud of what we have achieved with the centre, and taking home these awards is just icing on the cake for us and our centre’s accomplishments,” said Ms Natalie Chapman, Human Resources Manager of the Mossman Gorge Centre. “I think Indigenous tourism has a great future and, with the training and employment programs we have in place, I feel confident we can sustainably take the centre to the next level in 2017.

“We have close to 350,000 visitors a year who make the trip to Mossman Gorge to take in the beauty of its pristine rainforest, cool streams, towering mountains and the dramatic Gorge and to receive the warm welcome of the local Kuku Yalanji people,” concluded Ms Chapman.

The Mossman Gorge Centre received: 

  • bronze in the Major Tourist Attractions category
  • silver in the Cultural Tourism category
  • gold in the Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism category.

To find out more about the award-winning Mossman Gorge Centre, visit their website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers say no to unwanted offers

Vulnerable Queenslanders are often targeted by unscrupulous traders in a bid to make unwanted sales. 

The Queensland Government has launched a new campaign aimed to raise awareness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers of common high-pressure sales tactics. The ‘It’s ok to walk away’ campaign will equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with the confidence to turn down unwanted offers, in particular door-to-door traders.

Many people are not aware of the guidelines that door-to-door salesmen must adhere which includes producing identification, explaining upfront the purpose of their visit and advising of your cooling-off rights. Unscrupulous traders, particularly door-to-door traders in far north Queensland, have in the past targeted Indigenous communities, selling everything from training courses the consumers could not access, mobile phone plans in areas with no coverage and overpriced water coolers and first aid kits.

Businesses need to ensure their agents or sub-contractors are not operating in a way that makes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers feel pressured into signing a contract they do not want or do not fully understand. Traders approaching houses displaying a Do Not Knock notice or calling a phone number on the Do Not Call Register are committing an offence and should be reported.

All consumers have the right to opt out of both door-to-door and phone approaches by traders. You can do this registering your phone numbers on the Do Not Call Register free of charge by visiting the Do Not Call Register website. Consumers can also call the Queensland Office of Fair Trading to obtain free ‘Do not knock’ stickers by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

For more information about the rights of consumers and responsibilities of businesses in door-to-door trading situations, or to make a complaint about a trader, visit the Queensland Government’s Fair Trading website.

Helping First Australians with their tax

The end of the financial year can be a stressful time of year for many people. The good news is completing your tax no longer has to be a burden thanks to a new helpline for Indigenous Australians.

The helpline has been established to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to meet their tax obligations and can assist clients to obtain a Tax File Number, lodge a tax return, or find their lost super. The Indigenous Helpline is run by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and is one of many services the ATO provides to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. During the last financial year alone, the helpline received more than 26,000 calls.

The ATO is continuing to improve its range of resources, tools and information for Indigenous Australians including a range of videos on the ATO’s YouTube channel.
If you need help with any of these matters, please call 13 10 30 or visit the ATO’s website.

Road safety boost for Coen students

Our littlest road users are among the most at-risk groups when it comes to pedestrian safety. Students, particularly in younger grades, can be preoccupied, impulsive and unpredictable around roads and cars. This is why road safety around schools is crucial, regardless of whether you live in a remote community, the country or city.

An important road project in Cape York is helping students travel to and from school safely.

Each day up to 400 vehicles, including trucks, travel past Coen State School on the busy Peninsula Development Road. Realising this, multiple agencies and individuals including Cook Shire Council, Queensland Police Service, Department of Transport and Main Roads, and the Government Champion for Coen, Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM have worked together to improve student safety.

As a result, newly installed flashing school zone signs have now been installed at Coen State School which are already delivering positive results. In fact, local police have already reported a significant reduction in numbers of speeding motorists.
These bright flashing signs draw attention to school zone times and speed limits, alerting motorists to slow down and watch out for children. These high-tech signs are programmed to operate during school zone times on school days – and not outside of school operation, on weekends or during school holidays.

Coen State School now joins a list of more than 650 school zones across Queensland with flashing signs as part of the Queensland Government’s program to enhance safety around schools. Infrastructure and signs are a big help, but it is also important we encourage, teach and model good road safety. With support from the school community, parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents and caregivers, young children have the ability to learn about road safety and what to do, or not to do around roads as pedestrians, passengers and in play situations.

New museum exhibition in Cherbourg

A new museum exhibition reflecting kid’s perspectives on growing up, recently opened at The Ration Shed Museum in Cherbourg.

The Little Ones Museum, as the exhibition is called, is the third instalment of the Jarjums Life Museum’s projects which are pop-up museums curated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The project, run by Inala Wangarra in partnership with the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, provides children with the opportunity to share their stories and experiences about what it is like growing up today.

The children’s stories are created and recorded through a series of workshops with curators and artists which enable the children to re-image their experiences and determine how their story is best represented. The result is a beautiful insight into the lives and dreams of the next generation.
The children of Cherbourg have been working with home grown artist Uncle Rocco Langton and artists and facilitators, Jane Jennison, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins and Libby Harward.

Students name Tukuwompa Park

Students from Mt Samson State School have used the opportunity to name a nearby park as a way to honour the traditional owners of the land.

Earlier this year, South East Queensland’s bulk water authority Seqwater invited Year 2 students from the school to name a park located at Lake Samsonvale. The picturesque recreation area, which is managed by Seqwater, has barbecue facilities, and has become a popular spot for shoreline fishing. After learning about the historical and geographical information of the park, the young students proposed naming the park in honour of its traditional landholders—the Turrbal people. The park will be called Tukuwompa Park.

Seqwater recently held a naming ceremony at the park, located at Forgan Rd, Joyner, with the Year 2 students. Also in attendance were Turrbal elders, who lead face painting, dance and storytelling activities.

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Get in touch with us at communications@datsip.qld.gov.au and let us know what you’d like to see in the next edition. We also welcome your feedback on this edition of The Kookaburra.

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