By HARRY CLARKE

A SPECIAL NAIDOC event that hasn’t occurred for 30 years will be revived on July 9, when organisers in Chinchilla bring back a NAIDOC Golf Day to culminate a week’s celebrations of the district’s Indigenous heritage.

Marion Mitchell (Mandandanji) and Billie Brassington (Muruwari) have been the main drivers behind the event, which invites teams of three for a family friendly Ambrose competition at the Chinchilla Golf Club.

“Billie and I wanted to create an event for all mobs to come together and celebrate our culture and our people, and encourage community cohesion by developing positive relationships,” Mitchell said.

“My Nan has been talking for many years about revamping the golf day and bringing it back.

“We thought it would be awesome to do that as a 30 year anniversary. We thought it would be great to do something big this year to give back to the NAIDOCs from when we were growing up.

“I remember our grandparents and aunties doing big events like golf days and community fun days, so we wanted to try and bring it back for us and our children – the next generation.”

Erin O’Brien from Origin Energy, corporate sponsor of the NAIDOC Week golf day, with organisers Billie Brassington and Marion Mitchell
The late Tony Turnbull, who ran NAIDOC Week golf days in Chinchilla until 1992

It was Mitchell’s late grandfather, Tony Turnbull who ran NAIDOC Week golf days in Chinchilla until 1992. Uncle Tony passed away after suffering prostate cancer last year, so the gold day is being used a fundraiser for cancer research.

“We’ll have an ambassador from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to come up on the golf day to chat with all the fellas and give a bit of a spiel about what the foundation does and why we’re raising funds for it,” she said.

Mitchell’s family has strong roots in the Aboriginal communities of western Queensland.

Her ancestors come from the Mandandanji tribe around Roma. Her father is the widely renowned artist Anthony “Boy” Turnbull, while her great uncle is the legendary Indigenous jockey Darby McCarthy OAM from Cunnamulla.

Darby McCarthy OAM, the legendary Aboriginal jockey who was involved in Chinchilla NAIDOC Week golf days

After 30 years, boxing great Tony Mundine will return as special guest for the Chinchilla NAIDOC Week golf day

“Uncle Darby McCarthy got Tony Mundine up for the golf day in Chinchilla 30 years ago to, so we thought it would be awesome to have him come back again this year,” Mitchell said.

“We got in contact with Tony and he was free, so we’re very happy that he’s coming back again this year as our special guest.”

Registrations and payments are due tomorrow (June 1). Close to a full compliment of 33 teams have already registered. The $100 cost per head covers green fees, breakfast and lunch, and a shirt and cap.

There are several events organised to celebrate NAIDOC Week in Chinchilla, beginning with a community fun day the Botanical Gardens on June 3 and Aboriginal exhibition at the Lupunyah Art Gallery in Chinchilla opening on July 1.

For details visit the Chinchilla NAIDOC 2022 Facebook page.

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