JEZZINE BARRACKS COMMUNITY TRUST
ABORIGINAL STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT, JEZZINE BARRACKS REDEVELOPMENT
The Jezzine Barracks Community Trust brought Balarinji on board in 2011 to help give voice and visibility to the shared histories and future of the 14 hectare Townsville’s Garabarra (Jezzine Barracks) headland. The site’s Aboriginal custodians, the Wulgurukaba and Bindal Traditional Owners, saw the project as a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate their belonging to Garabarra, and hold its stories for future generations
The consultative process placed the Traditional Owners of Townsville at the centre of decision-making at every point of Aboriginal content in this project’s development.
Balarinji’s engagement process facilitated Elders’ storytelling to record stories, and artist workshops to interpret them. The final step was the creation of partnerships between Aboriginal artists appointed by the Traditional Owners and some of Queensland’s finest professional public artists working in a wide variety of media - metal, stone, glass, timber and ceramic.
When a carpet snake made its home in one of the sculptures, the Fish Trap, soon after its installation, some said the sense of spirit of Garabarra was back. But Wulgurukaba and Bindal people believe that spirit never left.