26 September 2023

Fraser sails away as Island recovers K’gari

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Fraser Island has officially reverted to its original name of K’gari, the name used by traditional owners for more than 60,000 years.

K’gari, the white spirit sent down from the sky to help make the land and the seas which are home to the Butchulla people, was welcomed at a ceremony involving Butchulla people and guests on the island.

Guests were welcomed on Country with a smoking ceremony, traditional dance and song, as well as a formal plaque unveiling.

To coincide with the restoration of K’gari, more than 19 hectares of land was transferred to the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation.

Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, a guest at the ceremony, said K’gari came from the Butchulla people’s creation story of the island, which had been passed down orally for generations.

“I’m proud that we can officially welcome K’gari home, and reinstate the name used by traditional owners for all those years,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We will continue to recognise Indigenous languages through place names, in the spirit of truth-telling and reconciliation, as we walk the Path to Treaty.”

Chair of the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, Gayle Minniecon said it was through disrespect to the Butchulla people that K’gari, the home of the Butchulla people, was taken away.

“Thankfully, it is now through respect to the Butchulla people that K’gari has been reclaimed,” Ms Minniecon said.

“Our oral history, our creation story, will now be told and learnt as it should be.”

The Minister of Environment and Science, Leanne Linard said her Department had built a strong relationship with the Butchulla people and remained committed to working with them to cooperatively manage the unique values of K’gari now and into the future.

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