Flora and Fauna of Mimburi – the Bush tucker/ bush medicine/ cultural uses book

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Hi all :) What a title right? :) Well, my name is Kate Greenwood and I am a Master of Cultural Heritage Management student who, like others is undertaking Directed Study this semester. I am working with the Mimburi Upper Mary Aboriginal Association (MUMAA) http://www.mimburi.com.au on their property, Mimburi, which is based in Belli Park, between Eumundi and Kenilworth on the Sunshine Coast. I am co-authoring a book with Aunty Beverly Hand, MUMAA President and local Kabi Kabi Traditional Custodian, on the flora and fauna of Mimburi which will include locations, descriptions, historical accounts and cultural uses. The documenting and recording process is well underway. Documenting takes the form of photographs, videos, writing, mapping and archival research. In the end, there will be a book produced, which will have an online version, a DVD and a map of the flora and fauna of Mimburi. Currently our species list includes 68 species. After undertaking a lot of background research, on the 2nd of April to the 4th of April I camped at Mimburi. In this time I was able to utilise their library of historical resources, and also record some of Aunty Beverly’s flora and fauna cultural knowledge. We also took a walk around the property to some of the known cultural heritage sites and located quite a few artefacts.

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On the second morning I arose before sunrise in order to try to capture the endangered Mary River Turtles down at the Cod Hole on the Mary River. Using my Nikon telephoto lens, I thought what I was capturing was the Mary River Turtle (as I had seen them earlier), but it was indeed a platypus, which is a rare animal to spot let alone capture in a photograph. Many other animals were photographed, including a Sea Eagle, (my video footage of which has a voice over from me in my best David Attenborough impression), a Masked Lapwing and some Pale Headed Rosellas.

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Recently I have been trawling through the Caroline Tennant Kelly Collection, which was only found a couple of years ago and includes the documents of Caroline Tennant Kelly, an anthropologist who visited Cherbourg in the 1930s and recorded cultural information through interviews with Aboriginal people, one of them being Fred Embrey, Aunty Beverly’s Grandfather. Caroline Tennant Kelly’s interview with Fred Embrey includes information about the moiety system and totems. This information on totems (which come in the form of flora and fauna), will be utilised within the book for the flora and fauna that are located and documented at Mimburi.

My next step is to take more photographs and video, to undertake research on the first recordings of Kabi Kabi language, and to link up language words with the flora and fauna. Following this I will take a visit to the Queensland State Library in order to document the first written recordings of botanical and fauna information undertaken by the first non-Indigenous explorers/settlers in the area.

I will update you all soon on how I go! :)

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Thank you to Mimburi Upper Upper Mary Aboriginal Association, in particular Aunty Beverly Hand and Flinders University for support with this project.

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4 responses to “Flora and Fauna of Mimburi – the Bush tucker/ bush medicine/ cultural uses book

  1. What a great project Kate. Can’t wait to get access to the finished product, if we can, and look forward to hearing more about the process you’re going through with Aunty Beverly.

  2. Thank you very much for your positive comment Tegan. Yes, you can get access to the finished project. I will include the link to the online version of the book and also provide details of how to order a hard copy on this blog once it is all completed. It is imagined that this will just be the start and future editions will come once more research and information has been added in the future. Aunty Beverly and I have been working together for about ten years now, so we have a great process of working with each other. She is an amazing woman who has alot of knowledge and shares it in innovative and extremely interesting way.

  3. Inge Ruder

    How exciting! This sounds like a very interesting project. I, too, can’t wait to hear more about it. All the best for your work on it.