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St George

About St George

Location

St George is a fairly large rural township located in southwest Queensland, about 550km west of Brisbane. As the administrative centre for the Balonne Shire Council, St George is the major service centre for a number of smaller regional townships, such as Dirranbandi, Thallon, Hebel, Bollon, Mungindi and Nindigully. St George is part of the Balonne Shire Council.

Languages

A large majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in St George speak English at home.
However, recognised Aboriginal languages spoken in the St George area include:

  • Kamilaroi [Car-mill-a-roy]
  • Kooma
  • Manandanji [Man-an-dang-ee]
  • Gungarri
  • Bigambul [Big-um-bull]

While the people of Queensland will often refer to themselves as ‘Murri’, Aboriginal people of southwest Queensland prefer the term ‘Murdi’. The everyday language spoken by Murdis in this region is the Murdi language.

Murdi language is a combination of many Aboriginal words and derivatives of the English language. It was historically used by Aboriginal stockwomen and men as a common language when communicating with colonial pastoralists working in the cattle industry in the region. The Murdi language is not recorded in written format and there are no recognised interpreters available to translate for this language. As such, assistance may be required for complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts.   

History of St George

St George facts and figures

Key social indicators from the 2016 Census for the St George community include:

  • 29.3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over had completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 6.7% of households with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were overcrowded.

The following figures are from the 2011 Census and will be updated later in 2017:

  • 46.4% of dependent children in families with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were from jobless families 
  • 15.5% unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years
  • 17.6% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 to 64 years worked in the Health care and social assistance industry.

For more 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for St George, build a statistical profile on Know Your Community.

Native title information

Search for native title information on the National Native Title Tribunal website.

Visiting St George

Getting to St George

St George can be accessed by road or air. It is a 7-hour drive (550km) west from Brisbane.   

Seasonal considerations

There are no specific seasonal considerations for this area, although there can be heavy rain during the summer that can adversely impact on local road conditions.

Alcohol restrictions

There are no alcohol restrictions in St George. 

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Balonne Shire Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Senior project officer, South-west region (Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships)

Phone: 07 3819 7607

Sorry business

‘Sorry business’ is a term used during a period of mourning following the death or ‘passing away’ of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Torres Strait Islanders may use the terminology ‘Bad or sad news’. The term can also refer to the past practice of forcibly removing children from their families. The intensity of mourning is reflective of the importance of the family or person who has died. The mourning process enables healing for the family and community involved.

The death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person impacts on the whole community; however, the experience of sorry business can vary within each community. Commonly, the name of the deceased is not used for some time or the deceased person is called by another name. In some communities, photographs or stories of the deceased are not to be used without the express permission of relevant family members.

During periods of sorry business many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services will often close down as a sign of respect for the person who has passed and to allow the community to mourn together. As a result, no business is conducted during the closure period. However, essential services such as policing, justice, child safety, health and education continue. 

Community justice group

The role of the Community Justice Group (CJG) is to ensure that clients of the service are given appropriate cultural support for court matters. The CJG also provides cultural reports to the courts at sentencing and bail applications, assistance to the courts in managing community-based offences, and networking to implement crime prevention initiatives.

Members of the CJG work closely with a number of justice agencies including the Queensland Magistrates Court, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland Police Service, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. The CJG works to support the community’s understanding of and access to the justice system by working in conjunction with Shire Council by-laws and victim support agencies.

Key ways the CJG is able to assist the community and the courts include:

  • participation in community consultations relevant to the CJG’s role within the criminal justice sector
  • preparation and presentation of written and oral sentencing submissions to the court
  • defendant support and referral (including court support)
  • victim support and referral (including court support)
  • support for debtors wishing to access the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry.

The local CJG for St George is:

St George Community Justice Group
PO Box 222 St George 4498

Coordinator: Ms Leah Lang
Director/chairperson: Ms Cheryl Lang; Ms Jo Withers (CEO)

Phone: 07 4265 1070
Fax: 07 4625 4152
Mobile: 0427 253 774
Email: stgahco[at]bigpond.com or stgahc[at]bigpond.com

Community services

Use the Queensland Government's one place service directory to find up-to-date contact information for local support services including:

  • legal advice and support services
  • youth justice and support groups
  • domestic and family violence support
  • drug and alcohol services
  • mens' and women's groups
  • accident, emergency and medical services

More information

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.