Indigenous Engagement Linking JCU to our Indigenous communities

Linking JCU to our Indigenous communities

To celebrate the historic Indigenous naming of JCU Australian campuses and study centres in JCU's 50th Anniversary year (2020), artist Brian Robinson created a commemorative print. Find out more about the ‘Between the moon and the stars’ artwork.

As part of honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ continuing and rich contribution to the University, Indigenous names have been given to a number of JCU locations.

JCU’s Townsville campus Indigenous name unveiled

Yirrganydji names for JCU's Cairns campuses

JCU’s Mount Isa campus indigenous name unveiled

JCU’s Thursday Island campus Indigenous name unveiled

Information for Staff about campus names.

Burralga Yumba: Student accommodation at JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas.

In line with the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan, JCU, in collaboration with UniLodge, as operators of Burralga Yumba, have committed to developing an on-campus accommodation environment that embeds Indigenous knowledge, and increases the recruitment and retention of Indigenous staff and students.

An Accommodation Plan has been initiated incorporating the following:

  1. Staff will strive to embed culturally inclusive practices into all aspects of the residential accommodation.
  2. All Residents will be encouraged to engage in cultural learning to enable students to immerse and understand the importance and roles of Elders, traditions, ceremony and the significance of the land to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People – with the Residential Life Program incorporating tours and cooking experiences, and the Resident Handbook providing information about the local languages, values, culture and stories.
  3. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in residence will be supported to explore their culture, ceremony and traditions, and to maintain connections with their support networks, Elders, and other members of the community. Just as for international students and others, food of one’s home culture is an important connection to home which will be encouraged using the communal cooking facilities.

Furthermore, care has been given to embedding Indigenous narratives and themes into the design of the 403-bed facility including:

  • Name (Brolga) gifted to JCU by Traditional Owners
  • Naming of study spaces on ground floor after wetland vegetation, which Brolga’s depend on for feeding and breeding.
  • Aboriginal Artwork
  • Landscaping using native plants
  • Close proximity to, and support of, the Indigenous Education and Research Centre

If you identify as an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and want to live on campus, check out the Indigenous Student On-Campus Accommodation Scholarship.

JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield

Atika Creek: The language name of Yirrganudji Elder George Dominic Singleton.

JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas

Central Plaza: Incorporates a 405m2 artwork by Indigenous artist Megan Cope as part of her ‘After the Flood’ series

Mandilgun and Yunbenun: Two thoroughfares at JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas have been given Indigenous names. Mount Stuart Street has the Indigenous name of Mandilgun and the CPD Service Road is also known as Yunbenun. The names come from one of the Dreamtime stories of the Bindal people.

Mount Stuart Street and the CPB Service Road sit at the margin of Bindal and Wulgurukaba peoples’ lands. The Bindal and Wulgurukaba people have many Dreamtime stories about their country. One of these stories is the Bindal people’s story of two warriors. It was a very hot day many years ago. Two warriors were walking south. Yunbenun (becoming Magnetic Island) decided to jump in the salt water and lie on his left side looking toward the mainland. Mandilgun (becoming Mount Stuart) decided to lie in Galbidera (Ross River) but it was dry so he lay on the bank on his right side looking toward Yunbenun. The two warriors noticed red pebbles around them and decided to throw the pebbles toward each other but not hit each other. The red pebbles landed in the middle of the two warriors and created Cootharinga (Castle Hill).

Wadda Mooli Creek: Wadda Mooli means welcome, greetings and goodbye in the Birri-Gubba language. Find out more in the Eddie Koiki Mabo Timeline