BUNYA BUNYA COUNTRY ABORIGINAL CORPORATION
Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation is a non-profit group established in 2007, with the charter of supporting local Kabi Kabi Traditional Owners and historically connected Aboriginal People in 'Closing the Gap by Caring for Country along the Sunshine Coast' through community engagement and project partnerships.
Bungwall Swamp Water Fern - an important Aboriginal food resource on the central East Coast of Australia.
Meredith Walker of the Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group, worked with researcher, Bill Simmich (of Sunshine Beach) and Kerry Jones, Kabi Kabi Traditional Owner, to see this production come to fruition in 2019.
Bill Simmich, is an independent scholar: ‘Bungwahl' fern is an important Aboriginal food. Working and collaborating with
archaeologists, fellow researchers, Queensland Museum and other museums, Bill is tracing the use of tools or implements that were manufactured, to process the rhizome to make a food, and found to be a widespread traditional practice.
As well, Kerry and other Kabi Kabi Traditional Owners, are undertaking archaeological work and mapping of sites along the Pumicestone Passage and Bells creek, and finding many shell middens and a variety of stone tools. The food grinding stone used to chop and process the rhizome of the Bungwall fern, is one of the most common stone tools to be found in this project. A study at the mouth of Maroochy Estuary and around Twin Waters, in 1989, also found this to be the case.
It appears that the Kabi Kabi had specific farming and fire management practices for the areas of Bungwahl, and this is something Kerry and other Traditional Owners have been delving into and reviving in their 'cultural burns' project with Stockland and Healthy Land and Water, at Aura.
For the first time since traditional times, Kabi Kabi people backed by the local Rural Fire Brigades burnt country on the Sunshine Coast according to cultural principles and practices in August 2016 at the new development of Aura near Caloundra. After decades of use as pine plantation and grazing, this regenerating coastal ecosystem beside Bells Creek that forms part of the future conservation area was chosen for Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation to trial their learnings. The project was supported by Stockland Development Pty Ltd and the Queensland Government’s Healthy Country Program delivered
through Healthy Waterways and Catchments.
The Maroochy River Mangrove Nursery, established 2009 and is ongoing, operated by Kabi Kabi Traditional Owners and People with Australian South Sea Islander heritage, and has been in continuous operation, with six mangrove revegetation projects underway at present.
This group has been working with QPWS, Healthy Land and Water, Queensland Government, Commonwealth Government, Unitywater, and now Stockland Aura at Bells Creek, in mapping and monitoring the endangered Water mouse that lives along the wetlands of mangroves and salt marsh. This group also undertakes weed control and mangrove revegetation in the habitat areas of the Water mouse.