21 Jul 2020

Bowen school students learnt how to grow native plants and experienced cultural traditions as they took part in a morning of NAIDOC celebrations with North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) and local Traditional Owners on Friday (17 July).

Bowen State School children took part in a week of NAIDOC activities, including traditional painting with the Juru People, and learning about artefacts. As part of the final day of events, years 4 – 6 had the chance to learn more about the Juru People and their partnership with NQBP in managing the land and waters within the Port of Abbot Point.

NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin said the event highlighted NQBP’s commitment to build stronger relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and enhance cultural heritage awareness within its port communities.

“We’re extremely proud to have partnered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business Juru Enterprises Limited (JEL) to deliver this educational activity,” Mr Fertin said.

“NQBP has worked with the Juru People for many years now, to achieve mutual benefits that strengthen the capabilities of the Juru People through training and employment opportunities and enrich the way in which we operate.

“We look forward to providing more educational opportunities in conjunction with JEL in the future."

Through the day’s activities, students developed a greater understanding of Bowen’s cultural heritage, NQBP’s port operations and the various environmental management initiatives undertaken within the region as part of NQBP’s partnership with JEL.

JEL team leader Jess Vakameilalo said she was excited to expand the partnership with NQBP to deliver Bowen State School students a fun and educational experience.

“It’s imperative that we educate our youth to protect, preserve and develop traditional indigenous skills and culture to ensure they are preserved for the many generations to come,” she said.

Bowen State School principal Christien Payne said he was pleased to host the activity as part of the school’s NAIDOC celebrations.

“Our school is committed to ensuring all students see the value of each person’s cultural identity, so we value the importance of celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and appreciate the opportunity to host Juru and NQBP as part of our NAIDOC celebrations,” he said.

The Juru People are the Native Title holders of the land at the Port of Abbot Point. NQBP has been working with the Juru People since 2005 and signed an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with them in 2012.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation contact:
Lorelei van Dalen | Community Relations Advisor
(07) 4969 0772 | lvandalen@nqbp.com.au

Images for download