BEAUTY: The Ban Ban Springs are a hidden treasure.
BEAUTY: The Ban Ban Springs are a hidden treasure. Contributed

Indigenous cultural heritage trail on track

BAN BAN Springs will undergo some changes as part of the new Ban Ban Springs Indigenous Cultural Heritage Trail project.

The project is designed to acknowledge the history and significance of indigenous culture.

A series of management plan meetings regarding the development of the area will continue, with the most recent taking place last week.

North Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt said the council was looking into what changes could be made sooner rather than later.

"For the things that we are unable to change at this stage we have left for now. So we are looking at the things we can achieve before moving on to those more difficult things,” Mr Pitt said.

"What we did was put together a rough draft of stuff from the last meeting that was spoken about and if we get the go-ahead for those then the next stage will be to submit the proposal.”

Mr Pitt said the grant applications to the State Government tended to have a quick turn-around.

"We've asked for a grant of $30,000 and council's contribution will be $20,000,” he said.

The council believes the Indigenous Cultural Heritage Trail will give the community a deeper understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the area before white settlement.

This will include the development of the trail, a series of Welcome to Country signs, indigenous art events and providing an academic approach to capturing the culture of the Wakka Wakka people.

Ashley Cobbo is part of the Wakka Wakka tribe and was present at each of the management meetings.

"If we all work together, not just indigenous but also non-indigenous, then there will be a lot of things that we can do with this,” Mr Cobbo said.

"Everyone should have their say on it.”

Marlene Hawkins (nee Cobbo) was another of the Wakka Wakka people working closely with the council.

"We have done a little plan ourselves and have been thinking about how much can be done,” Mrs Hawkins said.

"For example a pathway from the Ban Ban entrance to the school building, which can be restored.

"A couple of chairs could be put along that track for people to stop and take a rest, we could even name and list some of the indigenous trees and plants and describe what they are.”

At this stage the plan is for three interpretative signs along the trail, information boards and the renewal of the existing mural and art work on site.

Kathy Ratcliffe has taken students to Ban Ban Springs on her own time to teach them about the cultural heritage.

"I can tell you just from taking the kids out there, we see that there is a lot of history lost out there and I have to get the locals to help me explain it to the kids,” Ms Ratcliffe said.

"This would help with that.”

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