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Tjapukai to house The Message Stick

September 23, 2013 Attraction No Comments Email Email

The Message Stick vehicle, a mobile totem of peace used to unite Indigenous people around Australia, will be housed at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Chief Executive Officer Geoff Olson said the former army ambulance had been decorated with the handprints and artwork of about 250 of the Indigenous tribes and language groups in Australia. Message Stick

“Filmmaker Michael Butler created the motorised message stick when he travelled around the country searching for the master yidaki (didgeridoo) maker who created his didgeridoo,” he said.

“Along the way Michael’s vehicle took on a life of its own, finding fame among remote and urban Indigenous people who wanted to leave their mark on the symbolic vehicle.

“It became a message stick, following in the 40,000-year-old tradition of young Aboriginal warriors who would carry a message stick to other language groups so they would be identified and welcomed in a strange land.

“The Message Stick’s story has captured the imagination of many people including Nelson Mandela whose handprint is on the vehicle.

“Former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam and Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe have both endorsed the modern-day message stick.

“The National Museum of Australia is one of five museums to have shown The Message Stick and it is fitting that the vehicle’s final resting place will be at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where we can share its message of peace with visitors wanting to experience Indigenous culture.

“Tjapukai is undergoing a $12 million redevelopment to transform the attraction into Australia’s leading venue to experience Indigenous culture and The Message Stick is an apt symbol for contemporary Indigenous Australia.”

Mr Olson said Tjapukai would remain open during the redevelopment and continue to offer cultural experiences from different areas of the park’s extensive grounds at Caravonica, only 15 minutes from Cairns city in Tropical North Queensland.

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