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Palm Island Centenary Events Launch

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A group of Indigenous children with white ceremonial paint on their bodies wearing shorts or yellow coverings dance on green grass watched by a crowd of onlookers.
Centenary launch event on Palm Island, North Queensland. Image courtesy of Palm Island Centenary.
19 Feb 2018

This year is an important year for Palm Island residents as it celebrates 100 years since the first placement of people on the island in 1918.

The North Queensland community will share their culture through 3 major public centenary events. The planned events will celebrate the past, present and future and reflect on the community’s struggles and triumphs since 1918.

The first event was an official launch attended by community and political leaders on Wednesday 7 February 2018.

The Mayor of Palm Island Alf Lacey said the centenary was a chance for locals to recognise the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ of the Elders who built the community.

Palm Island Elder Magdalena Blackley (nee Geia) said the centenary commemorations were an important acknowledgement of the ‘resilience and strength’ of the Bwgcolman people who were sent to the island on a barge in 1918.

The name Bwgcolman was chosen by the group because it meant people of ‘many tribes as one’.

For more information on the events celebrating the centenary, visit Palm Island Centenary 2018.

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The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) has contributed $100,000 in funding under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy for the centenary events.

PM&C staff will be working with the Queensland Government and Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council in preparing for the celebrations this year.

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