Indigenous stories about country go online

Social media is helping to harness the ancient oral history of indigenous people for contemporary audiences.

A series of short videos showcasing indigenous knowledge of country and ecology in central Queensland are now available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/fitzroybasin.

Fitzroy Basin Association Incorporated (FBA) developed the videos, which feature traditional owners talking about the cultural significance of different landscapes, and how different plants were used for practical purposes, food, and medicine.

The videos are also available on the FBA website at www.fba.org.au. The project is funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country. The process of gaining these rare insights from local indigenous people was supported by Fitzroy Basin Elders Committee.

FBA worked with film and production company BushTV to collect and produce the stories, travelling to some of the most beautiful and remote reaches of the Fitzroy Basin, such as the Ramsar listed Shoalwater Bay on the Capricorn Coast, and Carnarvon National Park in the west of the catchment.

FBA also captured additional and more lengthy video recordings for safe storage in the Keeping Places cultural heritage database. This is a secure online database for sensitive information only accessible by indigenous people, designed to preserve traditional knowledge, both ecological and cultural, for future generations.

A free teacher resource kit will be made available soon, featuring a DVD of the videos and curriculum-based activity sheets. Kits can be pre-ordered by emailing admin@fba.org.au or phoning (07) 49992800.