It was reported in the Weekend Australian that Jabree and Wesley Aird do not support the way in which the organisers for the 2018 Commonwealth Games (GOLDOC) went about appropriating part of our Yugambeh culture for its mascot.
It is true that Jabree opposes the application for the trademark for the word ‘Borobi’, the blue animated koala that is the mascot for the Commonwealth Games in 2018. It is not true that GOLDOC consulted our community before choosing to use an important aspect of our language as the mascot’s name.
Jabree is the registered Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Body for the Gold Coast and it is entirely proper for Jabree to stand up for our culture in all its forms. Cultural appropriation for corporate gain should never be tolerated and the actions of GOLDOC go against decades of struggles of Indigenous peoples around the world in their fight to control their own culture.
It is also important to note that Jabree Ltd is a company limited by guarantee and membership is open to all members of the formerly registered Gold Coast native title claim which was lodged in 2006 and dismissed in 2013. Being a company limited by guarantee there are no owners or shareholders in the normal sense.
Our language is owned by our whole community and decisions on its use should rightfully be made by all of us.
Feature image supplied by Jabree Ltd.