Pride in our cultural heritage links reflected in QLD airport renaming

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has re-named the Moranbah ‘Bunhdhara’ Airport and unveiled new artwork designed by Barada Barna artist, Elaine Chambers, to demonstrate how proud the business is of its ever strengthening relationship with the Traditional Owners, the Barada Barna Peoples.

James Palmer, Asset President BMA, was joined by Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation Directors to unveil the artwork, titled ‘Heading Home’, which was created by Elaine to reflect what was on people’s minds when they head back to the Moranbah area for work, or simply to connect with the country again.

The main gathering circle in the centre represents the airport area, and the other markings represent the surrounding land and mountains and valleys of the area.

The gathering circles represent the people of other communities, and they have their pathways connected to Moranbah.

The snakes are included as the totem of the Barada Barna People, and the kangaroo is another animal of the land. Their tracks are added to represent our cultural heritage workers, who work the land and trace or track any reference of the people from the land.

The tools in the art show a connection to the land. Digging sticks to show what was first used to find what was needed in the earth, plus boomerangs to help hunt and also to represent returning to the area.

A new diversity walkway and ‘Wadda Mooli’ signage, which means ‘welcome’ and ‘goodbye’ in Barada Barna language, was also unveiled, as well as a number of Indigenous heritage artefacts that have been gathered from BHP and BMA operations over the years.

James said there was great pride in what the new airport artwork represented.

“I believe the artwork, and cultural heritage artefact displays, are a demonstration of respect and recognition, showing how far we have progressed beyond acknowledging the Traditional Owners and their lands, to a deep respect and being really proud to show off the strong relationship we have and continue to develop with the Barada Barna peoples,” he said.

The airport was re-named ‘Bunhdhara’ which means sky in Barada Barna language – a perfect fit for an airport.

/Public Release. View in full here.