Near Murgon, is the Cherbourg Aboriginal community, the oldest and largest government settlement in Queensland. Here you can buy intricately carved emu eggs and other crafts, visit the sculpted gardens and look out over the countryside to Lake Barambah.
The settlement began in 1904, originally at Durundur, but moved, and even the dead were disinterred from the site and reburied at the new reserve, called Barambah. The reserve originally had ties with Deebing Creek mission, and W.E. Roth, then the Chief Protector of Aborigines, was ‘looking forward to the day when one or other of the religious bodies will supervise this settlement’.
It remained a government settlement and in 1931 the name was changed, apparently because of postal confusion, to Cherbourg. Over the years people from some 40 different groups, including the local Waka Waka people, were sent to Cherbourg. Cherbourg developed its own strong culture and is now Aboriginal-controlled under a Deed of Grant in Trust.
Cherbourg business enterprises include a dairy, piggery, cattle operations, a cultural centre and an emu farm. Artists from the Cherbourg Cultural Centre exhibited their work in the Indigenous People’s Pavilion at Expo 88 in Brisbane, Queensland.