Mungalla Station celebrates NAIDOC with Hinchinbrook

Cassady Connections from Innisfail entertained the crowd. Picture by Aaron Kent.

Mungalla Station welcomed the Hinchinbrook Shire and beyond with its free open day to the public in celebration of this year’s NAIDOC theme, Heal Country, last Saturday, July 24. Hundreds of people attended in unseasonably beautiful weather for an excellent family day out, and an education in local history and Indigenous culture.

Ingham Lion’s Club served a free sausage sizzle to those present, as First Nation Australians, their guests, and visitors mingled together enjoying Indigenous bands and other entertainment. The musicians came from all over North Queensland and included diverse groups, such as Gospel Outreach from Ayr, Two Jam Deadly originally from Ingham but now based in Townsville, and Cassady Connections from Innisfail. Children enjoyed Indigenous themed activities, such as spear throwing, fishing, and Aboriginal art themed face painting, in addition to more familiar novelties such as jumping castles, and a bucking bull ride. Running races were held, with local favourites living up to expectations, as Mungalla has, and had, great athletes in both the current and previous generations, some of whom were present at the event. The theme of the day was ‘different tribes, one community’.

Visitors were invited to view the display in the homestead, featuring photographs of past Indigenous community members and their rich and chequered history. At the forefront was the story and the accomplishments of the Cassady family, whose descendants from its original seven sisters, enjoyed a family reunion on the day; and of whom many still live on and manage the farm and run the tours as Nywaigi Traditional Owners. Small scenic tours of the station were led by Elder and open day organiser, Jacob Cassady’s son, and featured an historic-looking cart amusingly towed by a ute instead of horses. Visiting children on the tour were enthralled by crocodile sightings amongst other things.

Mungalla Aboriginal Tours can be booked online at mungallaaboriginaltours.com.au or by calling (07) 4777 8718. Guided tours start from $75 pp (children $40 and seniors’ discounts available), with a minimum booking of ten people, and take around 3.5 hrs.

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