'There'll be nothing left': Elder's fight for sacred site
WADE Thompson, the custodian of the thousands of years of Indigenous history, is in the midst of his toughest fight.
He and a group of Indigenous people are camped at the sacred Deebing Creek Mission site.
They are fighting Frasers Property's plans to turn the area into a 925-home estate.
The site of the old mission is planned to be turned into open spaces while surrounding bushland will become homes.
Mr Thompson wants the State Government to buy the land back and turn it into an educational site.
"This land to us deserves a bit more cultural significance than just a football field and a block of toilets," he said.
"It's a part of Queensland's history and it's a roll-up of Indigenous and state history.
"I was proposing recreating the old mission site and opening it up for school children, doing weddings here."
The Indigenous group plans to stay camped at Deebing Creek until diggers roll into the site, which Mr Thompson acknowledges is a real possibility.
"I'm trying not to get too upset about it," he said.
"I know what I'm doing is right... I'm just preserving what's left of my history."
The area was a mission for 28 years until 1915 and graves of Indigenous people are expected amongst the scrub.
Mr Thompson admitted non-Indigenous people might not understand why Deebing Creek was a significant site to first Australians.
"Sacred is a feeling more than anything," he said.
"It's a feeling that you're a part of something.
"It's the stories that go behind it.
"I feel when I walk in the bush... there are certain areas you feel more connected to the land than other places and this is one of those places."
Mr Thompson fears the development of Deebing Creek would be another blow to the preservation of Indigenous people's history.
"The more they keep chipping away, there will be nothing left," he said.
"I expect people to respect my wishes and views the same way I respect other people's wishes and views."