Traditional Owners Acknowledged


On Saturday March 25,2006,  Aboriginal Elder Dr Penny Tripcony unveiled a plaque for the Teachers’ Building which recognises the traditional owners of the land where our QTU building stands.  Invited guests included Senior officers of the QTU, Dr John McCollow (who had been involved with Gandu Jarjum since its establishment in 1988),  Darcel Moyle/Russell (Deputy Secretary of the AEU) and members of Gandu Jarjum and the Social Issues Committee. 

The Social Issues committee used some of their Peace Pledge funds to purchase the plaque, which reads:

The Queensland Teachers' Union acknowledges that this building sits on the traditional lands of the Jagera and Turrbal peoples and pays its respects to the traditional custodians of these lands.  March 2006  

Steve Ryan, President 
John Battams General Secretary

The unveiling was preceded by speeches from John Battams, The General Secretary and Dr Tripcony, Chair of the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee, who spoke of her connection to teachers and education.  A morning tea and presentation to Dr.Tripcony of a bunch of flowers was held after the ceremony, to thank her for her presence at this important event which was held in conjunction with the Gandu Jarjum meeting. 

Julie Brown
QTU Vice President and Deputy Chair of Gandu Jarjum


Thoughts from the Chair of Gandu Jarjum...

Whilst the QTU is busily focused on campaigning for quality public education, enterprise bargaining and the Industrial Relations laws members took the time and effort to donate funds to the Social Issues Committee who organised the plaque. 

On behalf of the members of Gandu Jarjum, sincere appreciation is extended to the Social Issues Committee and Executive members of the QTU for this plaque. When members and visitors enter the building they can now be greeted by recognition of the traditional owners of that area. 

This event represents cultural respect and demonstrates the confidence towards reconciliation, social justice and human rights  

Letitia Murgha
Gandu Jarjum Chair
Teacher - Western Cape College and Gulf Branch Vice President

A member’s perspective...

The newly unveiled plaque recognising the Jagera and Turrbal people, the traditional owners of the land on which the Teachers’ Building at Milton stands, was long overdue. We acknowledge traditional owners at most assemblies and it was good to see that the QTU officially acknowledge this with a plaque.  It was appropriate that Dr Penny Tripcony did the unveiling as she is recognised as a great advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators and education.  I have been a member of Gandu Jarjum for 3 years and am pleased that through the efforts of all members on this committee and the QTU Social Issues Committee that the plaque of recognition has finally been placed on the Teachers’ Building.

Cheryl Bellamy, Teacher - Charters Towers School of Distance Education, State Council Rep for North Kennedy, North Queensland Area Council Rep and member of Gandu Jarjum.