Indigenous culture and history will be passed on to school students through a new hinterland outdoor education facility.
Mapleton’s Queensland Conference and Camping Centre (QCCC) is one of five community groups in the Sunshine Valley area to receive an early Christmas present under the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.
A $9,000 grant to the QCCC will help fund an outdoor space for reconciliation-themed curriculum activities as well as story-telling and dance, aboriginal arts and crafts, growing bush foods, teaching bush skills and more.
The all-weather shelter will include an indigenous-themed evening theatre restaurant and the program is endorsed by the local Kabi Kabi and Jinibara people.
QCCC director Andrew Grant said outdoor education camps such as Mapleton’s popular facility offered children memorable community experiences.
Mr Grant said the region had a rich indigenous history. For thousands of years Aboriginal people travelled for many miles to the region’s Blackall Range when Bunya trees were in fruit.
“When you think about it, what we are trying to offer here has a lot of similarity to the Bunya Festival – feasting, story-telling, team-building and conflict resolution,” he said.
Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said 20 community groups across the electorate were sharing $150,000 in grants to improve or install facilities and buy much needed equipment.
“The Coast2BayHousing group which is the region’s largest provider of community housing will receive $11,400 towards the establishment of a healthy food kitchen in Nambour,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Compass Institute, which provides work experience and training for people with disabilities will receive $9,000 for its social enterprise coffee and food van, the Sunshine Coast Children’s Therapy Centre will continue its life-changing work with $6,000 committed for new therapy resources and Palmwoods QCWA will get $12,000 for building upgrades.”
Mr O’Brien said the Stronger Communities grants – totalling $22.5 million across Australia – funded projects that encouraged participation and contributed to vibrant neighbourhoods.
“The Sunshine Valley region is very community oriented and there are so many motivated groups that might not have the budgets to undertake their own projects but for which the Federal Government has proudly contributed,” Mr O’Brien said.