Beaudesert has responded with dismay to the destruction of story boards from the Jarjum Gurema community project in Jubilee Park and vowed to rebuild.
Early on 21 October, most of the 10 storyboards were found wrenched from their steel backings and scattered around Jubilee Park.
Police are investigating and have increased their patrols of the area.
The 10-page Story Walk was a collaboration between Mununjali Housing and Development Company Limited and the Scenic Rim Regional Council First Five Forever Program to bring the Mununjali dialect of the Yugambeh language to life.
The book it was based on – Jarjum Gurema – was Highly Commended in the 2022 Queensland Reconciliation Awards, and local children who coloured in the artworks were proud to see their work displayed and their culture celebrated in the park.
Mununjali Housing General Manager Brad Currie said he was saddened by the actions of those involved with the vandalism, but it was not reflective of the people of Beaudesert.
He encouraged the vandal or vandals to get help.
“I understand people are on hard times in this day and age but the desecration of anybody’s property is not the best way to get that release out – obviously try and contact some support groups if you need to, because all destruction does is adds grief to more people,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the jarjums (children) who put so much work and effort into it are the ones who see their work get ripped apart – for a young mind to try and understand that is pretty hard.”
Said he’d like to see the project rebuilt.
“These things take time and there’s a process, but Mununjali are quite happy to assist in that if required,” he said.
In a statement, Council said the matter was being investigated.
“Council is extremely disappointed, not only regarding the act of vandalism but the blatant disrespect shown for our collaboration with our local First Nations people on the important Jarjum Gurema Story Walk project,” the statement read.
Beaudesert Police Officer in Charge Adrian Burns said the vandalism was disappointing and encouraged anyone with information to come forward.
“We’re awaiting the CCTV footage from Scenic Rim Regional Council but in the meantime if anyone has any information that can help us with our investigations, please contact Beaudesert Police Station, Police Link or Crime Stoppers and the crime number you can quote is QP2201815131,” he said.