The Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) is a group of five remote, indigenous communities sitting at the most northern tip of Queensland, Australia. I was lucky enough to join these communities, living and working in the region for 2 years.
-Issue 2 full copy available for download here. –
More stories from the Northern Peninsula Area:
Noise! All of a sudden they were all chattering at once, a little flock of pointing fingers, tapping feet and flapping mouths. They were pointing, it seems they had found something they want to show me.
‘Island time’. It’s a desperate attempt to find some sort of order we can set our watches to taking the form of a bewildering time management system with no visible regularity other than this. Things will happen when they happen. Never before, and rarely after.
Our little white girl.. how I became known for the better part of 2 years, living in the communities of the NPA in far north QLD. You will hear people refer to themselves as black or white skinned. It’s not meant in a derogatory way, but simply as a straight to the point way of speaking, common to the region.
The campsites would fill with dust as the children practised their ‘shake a leg’, dodging smacks and yells from the adults who were opposed to having dust in their tents and cooking. At night our tent cities would come alive.
Under the watchful gaze of a team of indigenous rangers, each nesting mother works slowly to scrape aside the sand with her rear flipper, digging away the damp sand to build her nest. Laying bellies down on the sand next to her, the team of rangers watch as she begins to drop her eggs into the hole in runs
Smoke rising from fire on the water. Dust settles, guided by the hand of the wind. The spirits are listening. They are watching… they are leading you forth. Woodfordia’s Village Green is alive with the heartbeat of the drum, the canopy above and open sky lit up by the fire, alight on the water’s surface.
Sticky, gross, covered in dust and altogether too close to your face for comfort… a description that might easily be used for a number of things that day, but in this exact moment it was the tiny, little dark fingers making their way through my hair.
Age old markings decorated their bodies, dust thickened the air as the dancers feet met the ground of the sacred meeting place and songs of language and dreaming stories hung on the air, drifting through the silently watching crowds and trees.