NAIDOC Week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This week we will be celebrating the special connection the macadamia has with many Aboriginal people, especially along the east coast of Australia.
In the spirit of reconciliation the Australian Macadamia Society acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Macadamias first evolved millions of years ago, in the rainforest along the north east coast of Australia. These areas include several Aboriginal nations.
The Gumbaynggirr lands cover a large area of the Mid North Coast of NSW from the Nambucca River to as far north as the Clarence River (Grafton).
Bundjalung Nation stretches from the northern banks of the Clarence River near Grafton in NSW up to the Logan River in Queensland and west to the Great Dividing Range near Tenterﬁeld and Stanthorpe.
It includes the regional centres of Lismore, Casino, Kyogle, Woodenbong, Byron Bay, Ballina, Coolangatta-Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah, the Gold Coast, Beaudesert and Warwick.
The Yugambeh language people are the traditional custodians of the land located in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales, now within the Logan City, Gold Coast, Scenic Rim, and Tweed City regions whose ancestors all spoke one or more dialects of the Yugambeh Language.
Yugambeh Elder Patricia O'Connor shares a story that macadamia nuts were often planted by Indigenous people travelling through Country. This marked the way for others, as well as providing sustenance for future generations.
"My grandmother said 'when I was a little girl I planted those nuts as I walked with my father along the Nerang river' and she said 'you call them Queensland nuts, I call them Goomburra'.
This is the reason that designers of the baton for the Queen's Baton Relay in the lead up the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games chose to use macadamia wood as one of the materials in the iconic object. It provides an enduring representation of the local landscape and the indigenous connection to it.
To learn more about the Yugambeh people and language, you can visit the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre on the Gold Coast.
In Yugambeh language the word for macadamia nut is Gumburra
Country of the Kabi Kabi Peoples and the Jinibara Peoples
The Sunshine Coast area of Queensland is home of the Kabi Kabi / Gubbi Gubbi peoples and the Jinibara peoples. This includes towns like Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Noosa, Gympie, Montville and Maleny.
The Butchulla People are the traditional owners and custodians of K'Gari (Fraser Island). Butchulla lands were concentrated in the centre of Fraser Island, and extended to the coastal mainland.
Olga Miller, a senior Elder of the Butchulla Tribe of Fraser Island shared a special legend that explained the origins of the macadamia. You can read ‘The Legend of the Baphal’ here.
In Butchulla language the word for macadamia nut is Baphal
1) Gathering - Aboriginal people have feasted on Bopple Nuts (macadamia nuts) for thousands of years. This drawing represents the coming together of our people to collect and feast on the nutritious nuts. Download here.
2) Collecting - harvesting the fresh nuts, collecting them up to be shared out together. Download here.
We would love to see your completed colouring sheets, so please share your works of art on our Facebook page this week!