National Trust celebrates cultural heritage through indigenous heritage and immigrant history that has shaped our modern multicultural society. In Queensland, we are working through our first reconciliation action plan to ensure cultural significance is showcased through our heritage sites state-wide. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary proudly presents a daily Indigenous dance and culture show to demonstrate the connection with the land. Further north our museum in Cooktown houses significant artefacts from the local Indigenous communities.
We also celebrate the rich immigrant history and the culture and heritage of people that arrived from far off lands, bringing with them their cultures, their traditions and their stories.
By the 1870s German and Italian migrants were attracted to the Queensland goldfields and with them, they brought their lively culture and traditions. Chinese immigrants also flooded to the goldfields in search of their fortune and a better life.
In 1888, the Sisters of Mercy left Ireland and arrived to the northern tropics of Cooktown. The convent was built by local townspeople (that now houses the National Trust museum in Cooktown). They survived the extreme heat in their heavy habits, setting up schools in Northern Queensland towns including Cooktown and Atherton. In Atherton, we also celebrate cultural traditions at our Chinese museum, Hou Wang Temple.
We are glad to share the stories of immigrants to Queensland and the significant impact on the cultural heritage of Queensland towns. These stories help to remind us of times gone by, in a world which was more simple, yet more difficult than today.