Mareeba - where old and new blend


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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Mareeba
November 3rd 2012
Published: November 3rd 2012
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Allan at the Information CentreAllan at the Information CentreAllan at the Information Centre

If Allan is on duty when you visit, get him to show you around the aboriginal section of the museum.
An important part of travel for us is to learn about these outback towns and the struggles these folk have survivied. We found Mareeba no different as their community has struggled against all sorts of struggles, and in this case come up smiling.

We have seen some impressive mango orchards (too early for picking yet), great looking cattle, but more importantly, locals who are open to talk about struggles and issues of the past.

One such person is Allan at the Visitors Information Centre. Allan took me around the aboriginal section of their museum and he was able to recount much of his families history from white settlement and onward. He talked about his Dad being taken from his mother at age six to try and out breed the aboriginal language and ways. He talks about his dad and grandma's grief of that separation. Mum and son had 30 minutes contact on Sunday afternoons. Despite such separation, Allan's dad had learned the local dialect but only used it when no-one would pot him for it. On one occasion he was hospitalised and recognised one of the staff as being of his tribe so spoke in his native tongue. Initially she pretended to ignore him, but when the coast was clear, came and had a good chin wag in their dialect.

Allan remembers as one of 3 aboriginal (part as his Grand Father was English) always being separated from the caucasion schollars and seemingly disadvantaged.

I asked him if he felt resentment for the past. He said no, but obviously the Government policy of out breeding (the white Australian policy) rankled, but as he said, that's in the past.

Allan told of their thatched nomadic homes built of rain forest materials and talked about the mock up one in the museum. Part of the display includes photos of his ancestors taken around 115 years ago.

There's lots to see in this museum, it's free to get in, but costs a donation to get out!

Allow an hour and you'll come out smiling.


Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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Aboriginal bark shelterAboriginal bark shelter
Aboriginal bark shelter

Ask Allan what is different about this mock up from those used by his ancestors.
A rebuilt rail motorA rebuilt rail motor
A rebuilt rail motor

But what is it?
Clue 1Clue 1
Clue 1

Not a railway driver uniform.
Clue 2Clue 2
Clue 2

HMM - looks a bit like a hospital room. Because of poor road access to hospitals, the locals built 3 rail ambulances. Actually 4, but have a look at the first one in the photo display.
Mareeba Telegraph displayMareeba Telegraph display
Mareeba Telegraph display

Skype seems a better solution!
Euro HouseEuro House
Euro House

Mum's working, Daughter playing with dolls, but you will have to visit to see what Dad is up to.
Not an ElephantNot an Elephant
Not an Elephant

Termite mound. Did you know that early farmers worked out the best land use by the colour of the termite mounds?


4th November 2012
Proud Parents on alert.

Mareeba series
Enjoyed the photos and comments very interesting.

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