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Are you an Indigenous Australian? Yarrie Yarns would love to hear your story

Story and photo provided by Yarrie Yarns

Yarrie Yarns is a social project that shares Indigenous stories (yarns) for inspiration, motivation, education, empowerment, reconciliation and crime prevention.

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Story of Carol—Wujal Wujal Elder

“I grew up here in Wujal, my homeland is Helenvale, Mungumby. I was sent away from there when I was a couple of weeks old down to Woorabinda.

We came back up to Mossman Gorge in the 60’s, then up to Cooktown and down to Ayton where our clan group had a big campground there. I was then sent to the dormitory at middle camp where the school is now. That’s the old dormitory there (points across the road), it’s a library now, Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

When that broke up (Mission), this is when this community (Wujal Wujal) was made. So that’s my country up the road.

My traditional home is Helenvale, that’s where I was born. For me and my family we had a camp up at
a place called Mungumby. They have a lodge there now. There is a waterfall there that women are not allowed to go to. Men only, men’s only business area.

When I was growing up my Dad told me all the stories. Mungumby means ‘waterfall,’ the name has been altered a bit, the old people had a different pronunciation to it, to what it is now today.

Today we take family to riverside at Mungumby but never take them up Black Mountain. Black Mountain is all about different animals, it’s very sacred.

A lot of people go and climb those mountains not knowing how sacred it is. When I take my family back on country we talk about the country. That’s from my Father, Father’s side.

My Mum’s side is Shiptons Flat, Rossville. Last year (2017) I went to Black Mountain with a couple of people from National Geographic where I gave my story about Black Mountain. We welcomed them on country. They did a story on it.

When I’m there, I am at peace—when I’m there I can feel the Elders.

I want our kids, no matter where they come
from to experience what I experience. When my Granddaughter comes back from Townsville College (for the holidays) we take her out on country where I teach her things, like when she goes on country for a day you have to let our old people know where you are, like fishing, or what you are doing. She gets excited about all of that.

Some of the kids get in contact with our Elders and let them know when they go out on country.”

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