Unique Cultural Heritage at Yarrabilba

Jabree has submitted an overall Cultural Heritage Summary Report to Lendlease Communities (Yarrabilba) Pty Ltd, wrapping up a five-year staged assessment program. The Report documents the key findings from Jabree’s progressive research and all field and archaeological investigations undertaken across the Yarrabilba Area.

Jabree’s investigations in the Yarrabilba area commenced in 2011, and over time identified many common, as well as some very rare, Aboriginal cultural heritage sites including isolated finds, artefact scatters and a rock shelter with archaeological deposits. These findings are particularly important given the area has been subject to previous ground disturbance, in particular during its use as the Camp Cable Army Base during World War II.

Our findings

Over the course of the staged assessment, Jabree located some 500 stone artefacts on the surface and 1,359 stone artefacts during subsurface investigations. These artefacts have been crafted from material including silcrete, chert, quartzite, chalcedony and basalt.

A system of sandstone rock shelters and platforms were also found in the Yarrabilba area. Given the significant number of surface and subsurface artefacts located near the two largest ground-level rock shelters the Yugambeh People consider these two rock shelters to be a unique example of their cultural heritage, representing a material link with their past.

The Yarrabilba area forms part of the broader cultural landscape of the Albert River catchment and Mt Tamborine area, an area which also contains archaeological and cultural sites including Bora Grounds that continue to be of high significance to Aboriginal people living in the region.

Our recommendations

Our key recommendations, working together with Lendlease Communities, include:

  1. Protecting and conserving the Sandstone Ridge including its Rock Shelter Complex, with future actions that would complement a long-term vision of the site’s public viewing.
  2. Protecting and conserving a sandstone outcrop at ‘South Rock’, including demarcation of this area as a no-go zone during housing development in this vicinity.
  3. Preserving areas around the northern waterhole at Steele Creek and integrating these areas with planned parkland to be identified by an appropriate Yugambeh language name.
  4. Developing interpretative displays throughout the Yarrabilba area which, in a residential area, would provide a rare and important opportunity to educate and engage the public in Aboriginal history, archaeology and culture and provide an opportunity for reconciliation and cross-cultural connections.
  5. Development of procedures to increase awareness of Aboriginal cultural heritage and values among the Lendlease Communities team and any contractors, in addition to a protocol for chance finds in the area.

For more information, please contact us.

 Feature image: Gold Coast Traditional Owners at Yarrabilba Rock Shelter


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