Fight for memorial not over despite funding setback
A BUTCHULLA elder has been buoyed by the feedback he received from the State Government, despite being knocked back for funding for a memorial in Maryborough.
Glen Miller remains optimistic that the memorial, which would recognise Butchulla lives lost at settlement, will receive funding in the future, even though it missed out in the latest round of the First Nations Commissioning Fund.
Mr Miller received a letter from a spokeswoman from the Department of Environment and Science which showed the project still had promise.
"While the application was not successful in this instance, the panel recognised the quality of the project and its potential," the letter read.
Mr Miller was encouraged to look into the next round of funding, which will open on November 23.
The applications were considered by an all-Indigenous independent Peer Assessment panel, the spokeswoman said.
There were a large number of applications considered during the previous round, which had made it highly competitive, the spokeswoman said.
She said the Peer Assessors had noted the project concept had the potential to contribute to community wellbeing and planned "broad reach within the community through the use of sculpture, however the panel advised the application would have been stronger with more evidence of local council support and approval for the sculpture".
Mr Miller said the council had been very supportive of the project and voted unanimously to endorse it.
He feared the council's letter of support may have arrived too late for the last round of funding, but that it would be made clear in the application for the next round.
The committee was also interested in more information about the artist who would carry out the work on the sculpture and their connection to the project.
Mr Miller's granddaughter is creating the design for the sculpture.
He said the feedback was encouraging and it was clear the department believed the memorial was a worthwhile project.
He said Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive Ken Diehm had pledged to help support the project in any way possible.
"We will reapply in November," Mr Miller said.