Elders unveil Bambara Close at Victoria Point State High School

THE re-naming of Benfer Slip Road has helped Victoria Point State High School celebrate its 20th year and cultural heritage.

The street, called Bambara Close, was unveiled today by Quandamooka elders Aunty Merle Dippel and Aunty Lynette Shipway at a morning tea hosted by the school.

“Bambara” means “path” in the Jandai language, which was spoken by the Quandamooka people.

Deputy principal Leisa James said the word was chosen as it reflected the different ways students could achieve success while at Victoria Point State High School.

The school’s P&C committee treasurer, Trish Bunin, said the idea was first pitched last year, following the implementation of Jandai language lessons at the school in 2013.

She said Jandai names, which were picked by students, were shortlisted and presented to Minjerriba Moorgumpin elders and Quandamooka Yoolooburree Aboriginal Corporation members for final approval.

She said division four councillor Lance Hewlett, who was also a member of the school’s P&C committee, helped ensure the street’s name change was progressed by council.

“The re-naming of the road is our school’s special tribute to mark the 20th anniversary of our school,” she said.

“It was brought about through a respectful and productive partnership between many parts of our school community.”

Cr Hewlett said the street’s renaming reflected a connection with the wider community.

“This city embraces the Quandamooka tradition and it was a collaborative effort,” he said.

“It helps with the school’s sense of place.”

Principal Scott Steinhardt said the sign pointed to the school’s history and celebrated the place it occupied within the community and the area’s indigenous heritage.

The sign’s unveiling was accompanied by traditional dances by the school’s Indigenous dance troupe, led by Quandamooka man Matt Chilly, along with the presentation of Indigenous artist Sherron Gross’ work.

Ms Gross’ piece, called “Spirit of our Land”, has been printed onto the school’s Australian Football League uniform shirts.

Dignitaries, including Redlands MP Matt McEachan, attended the school’s 20th celebration.