The island of Minjerribah (indignous name for North Stradbroke Island) has been inhabited by indigenous people for at least 21 000 years.
The Noonucal and Gorenpul peoples, members of the Yuggera language group, are identified as the indigenous owners of Minjerribah. The Noonucal lived in the Amity Point area (known as Pulan Pulan), and the Gorenpul lived in the Dunwich area (Goompi).
The Quandamooka Lands Council was established in 1990 to represent the views of traditional owners and Aboriginal people with historical assocation to the area. See the Quandamooka Lands Council website for a map of Quandamooka places.
The QLC has been involved in a native title claim over North Stradbroke Island, Peel Island and the central part of Moreton Bay since 1995.
As the QLC website notes, ‘A forerunner to the QLC was established in the early 1980s by Oodgeroo Nunukal (Kath Walker) in the form of a type of Land Watch group of Quandamooka people who met regularly to raise their concern about environmental destruction caused by sand mining and other development.’
Sand mining on North Stradbroke Island started in a bygone era more than 50 years ago. Brisbane was not much bigger than a large country town. Public attitudes towards protecting fragile coastal environments and to respecting indigenous spiritual attachment to the land were very different to today.
By 1990, there was a recognition by the Goss Government that the destructive consequences of sand mining should be curtailed and that Stradbroke Island needed the protection of National Park. The then local ALP member for Redlands, Darryl Briskey, in his inaugural speech to Parliament announced that the Goss Government intended to declare 50 % of the Island National Park (Hansard 8/5/90 p.1151). History of course reveals that it didn’t happen.
Since 1990, the population of greater Brisbane has more than doubled and there is now an acute shortage of public open space and national park. Mining has continued for another 20+ years, bringing with it much more destruction of the fragile, ancient sand dunes and the complex ecosystems which they support. Also pain for those indigenous residents who have a special, spiritual engagement with this beautiful sand Island. Many people from South East Queensland have decided that enough is enough. It is time to end sand mining on the Island and rehabilitate the mined land as well as possible. It is time to declare all available land National Park.
The North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum, founded in 1987, is located in Dunwich. For more information see their website: http://www.stradbrokemuseum.com.au/
The Redland City Council has put together a North Stradbroke Island Heritage Trail. The map for this can be downloaded here; the accompanying booklet is available at tourist information centres in the area.