What We Do

Our Aims

Balaangala Community Group aims to creatively bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by:

  • connecting with the local community
  • organising a range of events and activities, both formal and informal
  • connecting and caring for country
  • developing and maintaining the garden place for community gatherings; sharing; listening; learning; self-reflection; discussion and collaboration
  • sharing creative practice, skills, experience and knowledge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
  • creating safe places for self-reflection, discussion and collaboration

We advocate for Indigenous rights by:

  • valuing, respecting, and promoting the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the indigenous peoples of Australia
  • acknowledging our shared past and its effects on the social, economic, and emotional well-being of Indigenous Australians
  • listening and being willing to embrace new points of view
  • exploring ways to develop relationships with remote Indigenous communities
  • being informed to challenge injustices and racism

Our Work

Regular Activities and Events

Remembering Our Shared History

Annual Sorry Day Ceremony: Each year we commemorate Sorry Day, to recognise those affected by the forced removal of children from their families.

Development of Garden Space through garden working bees

Garden tours, lunches and afternoon teas

Timeline installation

Campaigning to recognise and address stolen wages

Education Program:

  • Teacher Professional Development
  • School excursions and workshops

The Gap History Project

Weaving group and weaving workshops

Lending Library

Past Events

2019 Activities and Highlights

Garden working bees held on the first and third Saturdays of every month

Members’ meetings – first Saturday of each month, including borrowing from Members’ Library

Hosted event on January 26th to acknowledge this day as one of mourning and reflection. Aunty Flo Watson launched the Pay the Rent Scheme.

Pay the rent fund started accepting rent money – on track to have $10,000 to distribute. First Nations people accepted invitation to be on decision-making panel to distribute rent money (Aunty Flo Watson, Maurice Serico, Aunty Jackie Huggins and Uncle Ross Williams)

Started a book club – read Decolonizing Solidarity and Dark Emu

Sorry Day ceremony – guest speaker Mark Baumgart

Organized a visit/yarn with Aunty Mary Graham at Yugembeh Museum

Weaving Group – organized workshop and did a group project – a woven echidna for the garden

Reconciliation Week – engaged Uncle Ross Williams and Dr. Ray Kerkhove as guest speakers

Timeline project started

Schools Education Program continued engaging First Nations Cultural workers for excursion activities; hosted excursions for 8 local schools and kindies/child care centres – approximately 280 children; 60 parents and 30 teachers.

Education team members supported and advised Gap SHS with their Reconciliation Action Plan and Embedding Indigenous Perspectives into curriculum and connected them to Cultural workers.

Balaangala members attended Gap SHS NAIDOC event

Year 11 student gifted sculpture for garden in response to Stolen Generation “lessons”

Supported Hillbrook School’s Reconciliation Week program.

Partnered with Brisbane Writers Festival to host author Tyson Yunkaporta Yarn.

Continued relationship with QUT Big Lift members who helped with Sorry Day ceremony and attended some working bees.

Hosted joint event for reconciliation groups.

2018 Activities and Highlights

January 26 – The Towards A Treaty group shared their Declaration of Commitment and Intent, to a large and supportive group. Members and guests reflected on the meaning of January 26.

Hosted excursions for over 200 Prep and Primary school children, their
teachers and parents

Celebrated our 10th anniversary

Aunty Mary Graham and Aunty Lilla Watson spoke at our Reconciliation Week event

2017 Activities and Highlights

Featured on TV show Totally Wild, 2017 (View here)

Jan 26 – Over 60 people attended to discuss changing the date of Australia day.    

Yarning Circle with Aunty Flo and Ross Williams – Reconciliation Week 

Visit to Ration shed at Cherbourg

Participation in Reconciliation Queensland’s Boundary St Walk

2016 Activities and Highlights

Hosted Bush Medicine talk by Gene and Lee Blow

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award Nominee, 2016

Queensland Reconciliation Award Nominee, 2016

2015 Activities and Highlights

Hidden Histories Workshop with Jamie Sandy

Dancing Workshop with Aunty Jeanette

Yarning Circle about the Recognize Campaign facilitated by Maurice Serico

Christine facilitated a discussion around the idea of “paying the rent”

Co-presented Reconciliation Board Game night with The Gap Uniting Church and Reconciliation Qld

Jaran Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Dance Group performed traditional dance and shared Cultural knowledge as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations

Stolen Wages talk with Dr Ros Kidd, supporting ANTaR Stolen wages Working Group

We became an Incorporated Association and Uncle Nurdon Serico agreed to be the group’s Patron

Further developed our partnership with Teralba Park Stolen Generations Support Group – Aunty Flo joined the Balaangala Committee

Hosted Professional Development Workshops, Connection to Country talks, Elders Bush High Tea, and a Family Day