In general

TreeLine asks people to do three things:
  • celebrate trees that are significant to you personally or your community, culturally or ecologically
  • raise awareness of local and global issues through the arts
  • encourage environmental action.
Through TreeMappa 2.0 we will do this through stories that will be created with children and young people in collaboration with teachers, artists and others. Material will be digitised and shared through web-based applications as well as other means.

Trees are important to our environments, our lives and our sense of place, both physically and metaphorically. Trees so often are significant in the ways that we map our location and direction. They are also significant for personal and cultural memories - we map many of the events in our lives against the recollections of certain trees. We can talk about the significance of trees in our lives and we will be ... but in this project we will also consider what would the spirit of the trees say if they could talk - what stories could they share with us? The possibilities open right up before us!

Possible trees and stories

The Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii)

The Bunya Pine was very significant to Queensland Aboriginal people long before white settlement. Aboriginal clans from south-east Queensland and much further afield would meet on the Blackall ranges to participate in the Bunya Feast. The Bunya Trees were marked by members of the clans, with ownership being passed down by the father to the eldest son. The bunya nuts, tasting similar to sweet potato, were usually eaten raw or roasted. White settlement on what is now known as the Sunshine Coast was initially restricted because of the Bunya Proclamation:
1842 – Bunya Proclamation
"It having been represented to the Governor that a district exists to the Northward of Moreton Bay, in which a fruit-bearing Tree abounds, called Bunya, or Banya Bunya, and that the Aborigines from considerable distances resort at certain times of the year to this District for the purpose of eating the fruit of the said Tree: - His Excellency is pleased to direct that no Licenses be granted for the occupation of any Lands within the said District in which the Bunya or Banya Bunya Tree is found.
And notice is hereby given that the several Crown Commissioners in the New England and Moreton Bay Districts have been instructed to remove any person who may be in the unauthorised occupation of Land whereon the said Bunya or Banya Bunya Trees are to be found. His Excellency has also directed that no Licenses to cut Timber be granted within the said Districts."
The effect of the Proclamation was to create an Aboriginal reserve from near Mooloolah, into the Blackall Ranges, to the North Maroochy River. As a result, no grazing licenses and few timber licenses were granted for the majority of the Maroochy District.

However, when the new state of Queensland was declared in 1859, new laws were passed which soon saw this situation change and the protected status for the Bunya end.
1860 – Unoccupied Crown Lands occupation Act was one of the first Acts passed by Queensland Parliament. It repealed Governor Gipps’ 1842 Bunya Proclamation and provided for squatters’ and timbergetters’ licences.
As local Aboriginal woman Bev Hand recounts, this act lead to the ancient Bunya Pines being cut down, often with only the base of the tree being taken the rest of the tree left lying on the ground. Aboriginal people could be heard waiting and grieving over the loss of their trees for miles around.
Bev has been instrumental in reviving a Bunya celebratory event in recent years. The last recorded 'traditional' Bunya Festival was held at Baroon Pocket in 1887. Then, in 2007 Beverly Hand made a revitalisation of a traditional event into contemporary Australia that we now call 'Bunya Dreaming'

As each group develops their concept, an overview will be provided here.