Our words our stories
Our words our stories were created for the 2019 United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. The stories are by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live, work or perform in Logan City. They offer a unique local insight into their language, heritage and knowledge.
Logan City Council Libraries acknowledges that language heritage and knowledge always remains with the Traditional Owners, Elders, language custodians and other community members of the respective language Nation.
While there is much language material in the public domain, it is important to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, language custodians and Elders to find out more about language and culture.
There is something for everyone in these short stories. They appeal to children of all ages and teachers as well.
Ten of the stories are short podcasts. They have visual overlays to tell viewers a little bit more about the narrator.
Language words are explained in the stories. Some stories have maps to show where the language is spoken.
All podcasts are accessible and we have provided captions and transcripts with help from the narrators.
Wajin: The Guardian of Scrubby Creek, is one of the stories. It can be enjoyed as an eBook or as an exciting interactive viewing experience. The eBook is by Bev and Reginald (Uncle Reg) Knox, and is narrated by their daughter, Missy Knox. The interactive feature allows you to explore Scrubby Creek and its animals and plants.
Logan City Council, the State Library of Queensland and Telstra provided Deadly Digital Communities funding. The Queensland Narrating Service provided the digital recording equipment and sound production services. The Nyeumba-Meta Advisory Group supported this project.
Wajin: The Guardian of Scrubby Creek
Scrubby Creek is a special place in Logan City and well known for its wildlife. It is the setting for the children's book, Wajin: The Guardian of Scrubby Creek by Beverley and Reginald (Uncle Reg) Knox.
Interactive viewing experience
This allows you to explore Scrubby Creek and its animals and plants. Scrubby Creek is one of Logan City’s largest creek catchments that flows through the suburbs. It is a place where you can play and enjoy nature. This interactive experience is a unique way for you to find out how to care for Scrubby Creek. Learn how to use this experience in the videos below:
For best results, please visit Logan Libraries website and open this experience on a desktop or laptop computer and ensure the sound is turned up. This is an interactive feature that allows you to explore Scrubby Creek and its animals and plants.
This eBook is narrated by Uncle Reg and Beverley Knox’s daughter Missy Knox.
Uncle Reg and Beverley Knox have lived in Logan City for the past 50 years. Uncle Reg was born in 1934 at Toomelah Aboriginal Mission. He is a speaker of the Gamilaraay language. He has had a long and distinguished career both as an artist and an educator, and has received many awards for his art and his service to the community.
Missy Knox worked alongside her father for many years, visiting schools across Logan teaching students to paint colourful murals. She continues to work as an artist. Missy currently lives in Kingston.
This book is available for loan from our libraries. Please visit our Logan Libraries website to check availability.
Gregg Dreise is a descendant of the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi people of south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales, who speak the Gamilaraay language. He is an award winning children’ picture book author, musician and storyteller. Gregg is a former school teacher who once taught at Jimboomba State School. He has many family members who live in Logan City. Gregg performs at festivals, schools and libraries throughout Australia, including in Logan. He lives on the Sunshine Coast.
Aunty Margaret Finlay
Aunty Margaret Finlay was born and raised in Mitchell South West Queensland. She is a proud Gunggari woman (Umbi). Aunty Margaret is a Director of Murrigunyah Cultural Healing Centre, Secretary for Logan District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Elders, and Director on the Gunggari Native Title Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBC). She volunteers with Logan City Council Libraries as part of the Yarning with our Mob program. Aunty Margaret has always been passionate about her culture, land and language, and teaching our younger generation. Aunty Margaret moved to Woodridge in 2007 to find work, as well as better education and work opportunities for her five children.
Kalaw Lagaw Ya language
Aunty Dorothy Buhmann
Aunty Dorothy Buhmann was born on Badu Island in the Western Torres Strait Islands. Her totem is Kaigus (stingray), Tribe Argan. She worked for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) for over 25 years as a Community Health Worker and is now retired. She is currently working at Burringilly Day Respite as a casual Home Care Worker. She has been a director at Burragah Kindergarten. She volunteers with many Torres Strait Islander community organisations in Logan.
Aunty Dorothy has lived in Logan City for over 25 years. Many of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren also live in Logan. She currently lives in Woodridge.
Robert Ah Wing
Robert Ah Wing was born on Kalkadoon traditional lands, known today as Mount Isa, where the Elders spoke Kalkatungu language. He has a Masters in Indigenous Language Education from the University of Sydney. Robert has had an extensive background in implementing Indigenous training education and employment. He has an in-depth knowledge of developing and reviewing resources to compliment teaching of Aboriginal history and culture.
He currently works to support the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Early Childhood and Education Services, as a pathway to support a cultural shift towards a truly reconciled and progressive community. Robert also volunteers with Logan City Council Libraries, coordinating Indigenous language programs. Robert has lived in Logan City for over twenty-five years. He currently lives in Slacks Creek.
The language of dance
Aunty Jeanette Fabila
Through contemporary performance, Aunty Jeanette Fabila works to promote and maintain her Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Papua New Guinean and South East Asian cultural heritage. She sees the language of dance as a connection for many ‘Stolen Generation’ peoples, who missed out on learning their own language. Through learning traditional dances from other Elders from different areas and Nations, they have been able to connect and revive their own family journeys as they continue their search, even today.
Aunty Jeanette trained at National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA), and is a teacher, choreographer, cultural consultant and performing artist.
Since 2000, she has been embedding Indigenous contemporary dance to promote cultural education in schools and other community spaces in Logan, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, in consultation with Traditional Custodians and Elders. Twenty years later she continues to share knowledge of culture from Logan to the rest of the world. Aunty Jeanette has lived in Logan City for over 35 years. She currently lives in Loganholme.
The Nyeumba-Meta story
Toni has worked at Logan City Council Libraries for 23 years. She volunteers in the Yarning with our Mob and Dreamtime Yarning programs. Toni’s mother was a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales. Her father was of the Bundjalung people from the north-east corner of New South Wales. Toni was born in the tropical town of Sarina in North Queensland. She has lived in Logan City for 30 years. She currently lives in Logan Central.
Meriam Mer language
Boneta-Marie Mabo (Neta-Rie)
Boneta-Marie Mabo is an Eastern Torres Strait Islander descendant from the Meriam Mer speaking peoples from the island of Mer, and a Manbarra descendant of Palm Island. She was named for her much-loved grandmother, Bonita Mabo.
Neta-Rie is a visual artist. Her images of her grandfather, Eddie Mabo, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. This work now hangs in the Australian parliament. She designed the commemorative fifty-cent piece for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Mabo decision in the High Court and the fiftieth anniversary of the referendum to decide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ right to vote.
She is also a human rights advocate and prison abolitionist. Neta-Rie spent her childhood living in Logan City with her father, and in Townsville with her mother. She lived in Logan during her high school years but she now resides in Meanjin (Brisbane). Neta-Rie has a strong connection with Logan, supporting young women and girls in the city through her Sisters Inside youth programs. Neta-Rie is the proud mother of Poipi.
Anita Heiss is a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. She is one of the most prolific writers, documenting a range of Aboriginal experiences in Australia today. As Professor of Communication at the University of Queensland, she teaches creative writing, mentors students and develops the BlackWords research community. Anita is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. She regularly visits the City of Logan for author talks. Anita lives in Brisbane.
Gaja/Aunty Kerry Charlton
Gaja Kerry Charlton is a Go’enpul - Yagara (Yuggera) elder and a traditional owner in three local native title claims. Gaja Kerry is from a big, extended family. She grew up between Stradbroke Island and the mainland. Her career spans teaching, adult education, cultural training, social justice, community building and counselling. Gaja Kerry currently co-Chairs the University of Queensland’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Steering Committee.
Her vision for language revitalisation, and requests by family elders, led to a collaboration with Barry Brown on Wulara-Nguru, a self-funded historical language mapping project. The aim was to thoroughly research, compile and document the languages of south-east Queensland. From this work has evolved a comprehensive database. In 2019 they published the lexical handbook, An introduction to the languages of Moreton Bay ~ Yagarabul and its Djandewal Dialect, and Moreton Islands Gowar.
Gaja Kerry first lived in the City of Logan in 1974. In 2008 she returned and now lives in Logan Central.
Derek Oram Sandy
Derek Oram Sandy was born in his mother’s country of the Yerongpan clan, descending from the Yerongpan and Miguntyun clans from Brisbane and the Mununjali clan from Beaudesert. On his father’s side he carries the bloodlines of Burrigabba, Wakka Wakka, Butchulla and Durumbul. Derek grew up in the suburbs of Logan and Ipswich, learning the didgeridoo, dancing, singing and painting. He regularly visits Logan City for community and cultural education performances.