Storm bird joins with Colours
The Queensland University Regiment (QUR) Colours now share a connection with a much deeper history that spans millennia thanks to a partnership with Indigenous artist Christopher McGregor.
CAPTION: Queensland University Regiment’s Colours case is now adorned with the artwork of Christopher McGregor. Story by Captain Sandy Biar.
The artwork by Mr McGregor, a Mununjalli/Yuggera man and grandson of Yuggera Elder Uncle Desmond Sandy, now adorns the QUR Colours Cabinet.
The artwork is intended to provide a bridge and point of conversation between the unit and the traditional custodians of the land on which the unit headquarters is located.
Former QUR Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Scott Denner, who presided over the partnership, said the artwork was an important addition.
“This artwork will be an ongoing reminder of the deep connection that the Yuggera people have to this land, and the future we share together with them,” he said.
“We’re grateful to Mr McGregor for this outstanding gift to the regiment.”
For Mr McGregor, the piece is about the history, community and strength of the Yuggera people and shows their value and relevance in today’s world.
“The focal point of the artwork is the storm bird (Koel Cuckoo), which is a representation and totem of the Toowong and St Lucia area of Brisbane,” he said.
“The storm bird is an important spiritual being that provides guidance to the local mob.
“The Brisbane River is important in the painting as it has been an important source of survival and livelihood for the Yuggera people, and is linked in with Yuggera creation stories.
“The symbols on the right and left of the painting represent family sitting around significant meeting places, also known as Bora Rings.
“The message conveyed through these symbols is the connection, resilience and strength the community and families have with each other and how this connection is key to our people’s survival and excellence.
“Leeches are depicted in the piece to acknowledge Indooroopilly ‘Gully of the Leeches’.
“Yuggera dancers are also represented as protectors and custodians of the region.
“The dancers have the Mirrigen star painted on their chest, which is a song and dance taught to Grandfather Billin Billin by his father about a special star where our spirits go to beyond this life.”