Aboriginal Scarred Tree (Ironbark) to make centrepiece of cultural display

Over the last six months, Jabree has worked closely with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and GoldLinQ on a tailored cultural heritage management strategy for the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 Project (Parkwood to Helensvale).

Our work involved a particular focus on the treatment of an Aboriginal Scarred Tree (Ironbark) located in the Project footprint which, due to restrictions with the location of the rail corridor, was likely to be impacted by surrounding construction activities.

To manage and offset these impacts as best possible, Jabree negotiated for the scarred

Section of Aboriginal Scarred Tree stored for future cultural display. Photo: Kate Greenwood, 2016.

section of the Ironbark to be saved and installed as the centrepiece of a cultural display planned for the future Helensvale light rail station.

On Monday 18 April 2016,  Traditional Owners Wesley Aird, Shannon Sandy,  together with Heritage Adviser Kate Greenwood and Jabree General Manager Jim Gamack supervised the transportation and storage of the Aboriginal Scarred Tree from the Project site.

Vaccuum treated root system of Aboriginal Scarred Tree. Photo: Kate Greenwood, 2016.
Vaccuum treated root system of Aboriginal Scarred Tree. Photo: Kate Greenwood, 2016.

This process was undertaken with the highest level of care, involving an industrial-scale vacuum to free the tree roots and allow it to be extracted wholly from the ground.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has provided the necessary funding for the impacted scarred tree’s removal, transport and storage until the Project’s completion. Funding has also been provided for the installation of the cultural display and accompanying interpretive story about scarred trees and this particular tree’s place in the Helensvale / Coombabah wetlands environment.

Jabree’s preliminary assessment of the site in November 2015 confirmed that parts of the Project area are of high Aboriginal cultural heritage sensitivity. Findings from the area included an artefact scatter and two Aboriginal scarred trees, with one tree potentially located in the Project footprint. In early 2016, it was determined as likely that one tree may be impacted by surrounding construction activities, while the other tree and artefact scatter would not be impacted by construction.

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