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New high for history as group tackles Mt Wheeler climb

Darren Mann, Venita Mann, Billy Mann and Sally Vea Vea at Gawula. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Darren Mann, Venita Mann, Billy Mann and Sally Vea Vea at Gawula. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

DARREN Mann strode into modern history  on Wednesday, becoming the first Darumbal man to climb Mt Wheeler.

He was among a group of 26 people who completed the challenging walk as part of the Gawula On Country history and culture day, organised for NAIDOC Week in Rockhampton.

Gawula Aboriginal Land Trust chairperson and event organiser Sally Vea Vea said it was a special day for the Darumbal people, the indigenous Australians who have traditionally occupied modern-day Central Queensland.

She said a decision was made to open up the mountain in a bid to foster reconciliation in the community.

"We're very proud of Darren. He is the first Darumbal male to climb the mountain and he is also one of our trustees," Sally said.

"All of the people who climbed the mountain were very excited to have done it. When they finished, some of them even said they could cross that off their bucket list."

In 2007, the State Government returned Mt Wheeler to the traditional owners under the Aboriginal Land Act of 1991.

Sally said yesterday's event was the biggest history and culture day to date.

About 200 people, including more than 100 children, took part in a range of activities.

"Everyone's had a great day. This is our best ever," Sally said.

"People like to come out on country and have things happening on country."

On today: 

8.30am- 4.30pm: NAIDOC Corporate Touch Darumbal Community Youth at Cyril Connell Touch Fields, North Rockhampton

Topics:  darumbal, gawula, naidoc week



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