Woorabinda, QLD, February 2024
Uncle Douglas: When I think of sacrifice, I think of those old people, my grandparents and great-great-grandparents, all the way back to as far as we can go, they've sacrificed so much. They've been through that hard thing of being rounded up off their country and chased through the bush with guns and whips and taken to places that were foreign, that were on someone else's land. And the trauma still exists today because of those genocidal gatherings. White men put tribes together who had been fighting each other for hundreds of years and put them in one area, and pretended it was one community. Some of those families are still fighting.
We have a big history in our family of warriors in the frontier wars. Those old people sacrificed so much fighting for their freedoms and for our freedom. All that resilience and spirit is still within each and every one of us. We might not fight physically as much, but we use the pen and the paper. We use that as a sword. We use it to battle with the mining companies, to stop digging up coal, to stop the fracking. We use all those tools that have been put in place, like the Human Rights Act and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, even the Geneva Convention. I'm here at the coal face telling people about their rights. I tell them to come here to the Indigenous Knowledge Centre, sit down for a yarn, have a cup of tea, read a book. And it’s because of the sacrifices that have been made before me. We're just carrying on the fight, you know? And the fight is putting books on shelves.
Douglas Graham is a proud Gooreng Gooreng man and Coordinator of the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at the Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council

Aunty Michele: I've got a couple of businesses that I've started with my nephews, doing machinery hire, and NDIS work. It was a vision from my father, when he was still alive and his grandsons were growing up. He said to them, "When you get to the peak of your profession, whatever job you're going to do, you need to bring work back home to Woorabinda”. That's caring for country and caring for the custodians of the land, looking after people. 
We’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices to learn the white man's business of how to run things. When there's other companies coming in to Woori to do housing construction or road work, they bring their crew in and they don't hire from community. So since I’ve started my company, I've really been trying to get people the training that they need so when we have a project out here we can look for employees in the community. It might be on a casual basis, but it's three or four months of work at least and they're out from that poverty line. 
The first time my workers got their pay from TMR (Department of Transport and Main Roads), I was crying. I drop them off in the morning and I pick them up in the afternoon, and when I got to the site these eight or ten fellas asked me “Auntie, what are you crying for now?”. I said “I’m crying because when you go home and check your bank account, It's gonna look healthy, it’s gonna look good”.​​​​​​​

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