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Cameron says 'Yurra' to Quandamooka's Exciting Future!

• Cameron Costello in front of the Mayoral Aboriginal Painting at Redland City Council.

If Cameron Costello gets his way 'Yurra' (yoo-ra) will become the official Australian declaration for 'welcome'.

Just like Bula is synonymous with Fiji and Bonjour is totally French, the Australian version could change from G'Day to Yurra!

Cameron Costello is Chief Executive Office of the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and he has a strong vision for the future of the corporation and its relationship with the community in general.

The 'Yurra' Welcome is just one idea.

Cameron says it has much to do with a professional direction, an open outlook, future partnerships and taking advantages of opportunities.

In introducing himself to The Friendly Bay Islander, Cameron outlined from the very start that he was keen for QYAC to raise its profile 'throughout all the Bay Islands'.

“The ‘whole of community’ approach to cultural tourism is a challenging one that requires as the foundation the consent of the Quandamooka People.

"There needs to be a strong relationship between cultures and that is what we hope to work towards”

Currently, the Quandamooka people are better known and understood on North Stradbroke Island where they have become actively involved in community affairs and business; running several of the professional camping sites on the island.

"However, we are keen to lift our profile on all the Bay Islands by way of information and knowledge, as well as looking to future business opportunities.

And QYAC takes business seriously,

So much so that they have an Investment Group that provides direction, information and input in relation to future strategies and investments.

And clearly the Southern Moreton Bay Islands are on the radar.

"We are definitely looking at all business opportunities on the islands, including cultural tourism and extending of camping ground management skills to the island group," he said.

The Quandamooka people, prior to white settlement, occupied tribal lands south of the Brisbane River and down the Coast strip to Redland Bay, including the Coastal Islands.

And it is in these areas the Cameron Costello wants to raise the Quandamooka profile.

Already QYAC has thrown its weight behind the renaming of Russell Island to Canaipa Island.

In supporting the proposal currently before Redland City Council, Cameron says: "QYAC do hope this proposal is successful and we look forward to working with you to celebrate Quandamooka culture on Canaipa in the future."

Yurra, it seems, is a very special Aboriginal welcome in the language of the Quandamooka people.

"It's introduction to popular culture could be just the start of popularising aboriginal languages."

Others such as Billabong and Coolabah and others are already part of Australian folklore.

"We want more people to understand our culture in a positive way, and telling stories of the Dreamtime is one way of achieving that," he says.

Already QYAC is involved with a number of successful partnerships and is looking for others.

"We would love to see a Quandamooka Festival on the islands that progresses from one island to the next.

"It has considerable potential and would be a great way island communities could be part of the process and for our culture to become part of island life," he added.

There are heaps of other ideas, too, including embracing new IT technology to help educate and learn.

Cameron is extremely enthusiastic and has an artistic background in management that is impressive.

We will be watching Cameron and QYAC with some interest and look forward to some exciting new directions.

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