Posted at 11:12h
in QCCC Mapleton
The Bunya Tree has a special place in the history of the Blackall Range. They’re a symbol of abundance and were the catalyst for the tri-annual Bunya Festival – a relational corroboree where stories and skills were exchanged, conflicts resolved and stories told. Explorer Tom Petrie wrote in the early 1800s about the importance of the Bunya Tree to aboriginal life, documenting how the women would congregate around trees felled by “settlers” and mourn each tree for weeks.
Petrie was so moved by the love the Aboriginal people had for their Bunya trees that he prevailed on the government of the day to declare a large swathe of land north of Brisbane a protectorate, arguably the first attempt at a nature reserve in the world. Sadly one of the first acts of Parliament for the new Colony of Queensland was to reverse this legislation and allow felling to re-commence. However, majestic examples of the Bunya tree still remained, none more so than the twin Bunya peaks in the grounds of Mapleton State School. Sadly one of these was lost to a lightning strike a few years ago.