By Phil Jarratt
At the end of a week of high tension as Noosa’s politicos tore each other’s heads off, a bridge-building exercise on Hastings Street was just what the doctor ordered.
As she climbed onto a podium for opening remarks at the Tourism Noosa launch of the Welcome To Kabi Kabi Country audio-visual experience last week, Mayor Clare Stewart joked that Tourism Noosa CEO Mel Anderson had invited her up so she could push her off – a reference to the stoush between council and the tourism industry over the tourism levy. The opening gambit was perfectly timed, allowing the elephant a clear exit from the room, so that we could get on with the celebration of this wonderful collaborative effort between tourism and Noosa’s First Nation.
From last Friday, every night at 7pm, a six-minute Welcome To Country virtual experience, beautifully produced by film-maker James Muller, will play on a big screen outside the Tourist Information Centre, with Kabi Kabi dancer and storyteller Lyndon Davis leading the explanation of Kabi Kabi Country and its ancient linkages. As Tourism Noosa’s blurb asserts: “This is an exceptional blend of traditional messaging with contemporary, innovative projection techniques that will provide a unique and moving experience of the Kabi Kabi story.”
It really is, and every Noosa resident should see it.
An emotional Brian Warner, secretary of the Kabi Kabi People’s Aboriginal Corporation, reminded the gathering of the need for truth telling in every depiction of the Kabi Kabi story. He said: “Almost every Aboriginal nation has a massacre story to tell, and here we have Lake Weyba, Teewah and Tuchekoi. Did you know that? Through truth telling we need to find common ground, which is built on friendship and trust. I think that Noosa Council, Tourism Noosa and the Kabi Kabi people are moving forward in that direction.”