The Woorabinda Aboriginal community is this week commemorating the 90th anniversary of the infamous eight-day, 200-kilometre Taroom to Woorabinda Trek.
Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner today joined Elders and Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor, Cheyne Wilkie at Taroom for part of the first leg of a commemorative walk to Woorabinda.
“The Trek from Taroom to Woorabinda is an opportunity for us as Queenslanders to reflect on the wrongs of the past and consider the next steps on our state’s reconciliation journey,” Mr Furner said.
“It is a great honour to be invited to share the Trek’s 90th anniversary and join community leaders in contemplating the reconciliation legacy we want to be remembered for by future generations.
“The Trek demonstrates how far we have come in the last 90-years and that’s what makes this walk so significant.”
Over the next eight days, the descendants and supporters of hundreds of Aboriginal families will walk 150-kilometres from Taroom in honour of the Indigenous Queenslanders forcibly relocated from their homes to Woorabinda.
In 1927, up to 50 young, bare-footed Aboriginal Queenslanders aged between 13 and 30 walked the track from the Old Taroom Aboriginal Settlement.
The start of the commemorative 90th anniversary trek included healing and wreath-laying ceremonies at the site of the former Taroom settlement, now known as Bundulla Station.
Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor, Cheyne Wilkie said more than 100 people would participate in this year’s Trek from Taroom to Woorabinda.
“Our community looks forward to the Aboriginal communities of Cherbourg, Yarrabah, Palm Island and Hope Vale joining us in our celebrations, as well as the Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner,” Cr Wilkie said.
“I’m also proud to say the Woorabinda community has got right behind us in these events happening over the next week.
“The Trek walkers this year have been well-supported by everyone, from our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community elders, to our youngest kids back home for the holidays and our local school.
“We’re looking forward to our welcome back ceremony here in the community on Friday 7 July.”
Mark Furner is the Palaszczuk Government’s Ministerial Champion for Woorabinda.