(QldGovSpin) Aboriginal Rock Art Showcased at New Cultural Centre in Cape York

Submitted by Editor on Fri, 27/08/2004 - 02:36

Stunning examples of ancient Aboriginal rock art are the highlight of the new Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre located in the Cape York town of Laura.

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Education & Arts, Anna Bligh
educationarts@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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26/08/04

Queensland Minister for the Arts Anna Bligh, Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch and Terry O'Shane from the Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre Board today officially opened the new centre which features an interpretive display and tour booking office.

Local identity Alf Parsons was given the honour of cutting the ribbon, allowing officials and guests to inspect the new facility.

Ms Bligh said the Cultural Centre introduced visitors to the area's unique cultural heritage, rock art and Aboriginal protocols.

"The Laura region is home to some of the most significant Aboriginal rock art in the world. The thousand-plus sites situated around Laura reflect the strong spiritual bond between Aboriginal people, their environment and their ancestral spirits, and feature a variety of unique Aboriginal painting styles, dating back more than 13,000 years," she said.

"The region is also famous for its giant figures, known as Quinkans, which according to legend were spirit figures living in the cracks of rocks. Many of the region's paintings depict the Quinkans.

"The rock art, combined with the region's breathtaking landscapes, combine to give visitors to the area an exceptional visual and cultural experience."

Ms Bligh said the $2 million Cultural Centre was funded through the Queensland Heritage Trails Network - a joint Queensland and Australian Government initiative.

"The centre is a multi-purpose facility housing an interpretive display presenting the region's rock art and Aboriginal cultural heritage and a booking office where rock art site tours are arranged," she said.

"The project also included upgrade works to the Split Rock art site and initiatives to protect and manage the Giant Horse and Mushroom rock art sites.

"The project has involved close consultation with the four traditional owner groups which are connected to the Quinkan sandstone region, and is a partnership between the Cook Shire and the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments."

The Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre Project Steering Committee consists of Traditional Owners, Queensland Heritage Trails Network (QHTN), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS), Environmental Protection Agency, Cook Shire Council, Laura Progress Association, the Department of State Development and Innovation and Tourism Queensland.

The Queensland Heritage Trails Network, developed over four years from 2001 to 2004, links together 43 heritage and cultural sites, museums, natural attractions and cultural centres. The QHTN is a $110 million joint initiative of the Queensland and Australian Governments.

The Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre is located at Peninsula Development Road, Laura, Cape York and is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

Media contact:
Shari Armistead 3235 4593

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