Maroochy Barambah doing Traditional Welcome to Country

Kurbingaibah is a Ningy Ningy/Turrbal (Australian Aboriginal) word that means a place of the Kippa Rings. Redcliffe, the place where these rings are situated, is the site of the first European settlement in Queensland. Kurbingaibah the Ningy Ningy Centre for Indigenous Awareness offers a range of activities including cultural education, language classes, workshops, conferences and cultural awareness programs.

Ningy Ningy are red-ochre people.

Kurbingaibah is a place of cultural and spiritual significance to the Ningy Ningy people. To-day, important aspects of the Ningy Ningy heritage, customs and values continue to be practiced at Kurbingaibah despite the adverse impact of colonisation.

The ancestral homelands of the Ningy Ningy people extended from the Pine River in the south to Elimbah Creek in the north; and from the Old Gympie Road in the west to Pumicestone Passage in the east.

History –

Kurbingaibah was established in 1999 by the Ningy Ningy Traditional Owners of the Redcliffe area following an extensive community consultation.

In 1824, when the then Surveyor-General of the Colony of New South Wales John Oxley was in search of a site for the location of the penal settlement, he was accompanied by Robert Hoddle who drew a sketch of the Ceremony Rings at Redcliffe.   During the 1950s however, when  the site was cleared and used for farming, the physical structure of the ring was destroyed.   In 2000, the Ningy Ningy Traditional Owners, in collaboration with community members, successfully reconstructed these rings which have become the centrepiece of Kurbingaibah.

Ningy Ningy Elder Connie Isaacs and daughter Maroochy planting a Fig Tree near large Ceremonial Ring during revitalisation process, some of the volunteers in background. Since the time of this photo the vegetation has grown heaps

Ceremonial Rings –

The issues of identity and heritage are crucial to the well-being of many Aboriginal Australians. The destruction of many of the ceremonial rings in the south east Queensland area following European settlement in Brisbane in 1825 is undoubtedly not just a loss of land but of places where Aboriginal people can reinforce spiritual and cultural linkages through time with their Ancestral Dreaming. Kurbingaibah has two ceremonial grounds – one known as ‘Bul’ Ring, a sacred area where young boys are initiated into manhood and incidentally the origin of the suburb of Kippa Ring at Redcliffe; and the other one is known as ‘Dhur’ Ring. Set in an outdoor area with a rainforest backdrop, visitors, schools and community members have the opportunity to gain an insight to the traditional Ningy Ningy culture and heritage through ancient dances, songs and stories.

Dhur Ring at Kurbingaibah


Cultural Education –

Kurbingaibah provides access to traditional and contemporary Indigenous culture, crafts and customs set within a traditional area vegetated with local bush foods. It introduces community members, schools and visitors to the practice of Aboriginal land management, traditional plants and foods of the area, their identification and preparation, by Traditional Owners of the land.

Storytellers, visual artists and traditional performers will entertain, educate and inform community members and visitors with music, painting and story telling, as well as workshops on indigenous language, customs, song, dance and cultural awareness training.

Arthur Isaacs, brother of Maroochy at Kurbingaibah; Arthur is facing east, the tree behind are now bigger.

Visitors are given useful insights to and an understanding of Aboriginal people’s spiritual connection with the land and history of sustainable land management. The outcomes achieved from the development and maintenance of Kurbingaibah will provide an important educational, cultural, social environmental and economic resource for future generations.

The Future –

The restoration of the ceremonial rings at Kurbingaibah is indicative of the determination and commitment of the Ningy Ningy people to continue the customary practices of one of the world’s most ancient cultures, despite the adverse impact resulting from contact with the earliest European settlers in Redcliffe in 1823. Kurbingaibah also confirms that customary Aboriginal practices are alive and well in urban setting – something that many people think of as a thing of the past or confined to art galleries and museums. While there are many challenges ahead, the fact remains that the Ningy Ningy culture is alive till this day and will continue to prosper into the future.

Some of the younger generation from the Ningy Ningy and Wakka Wakka tribes becoming active with their culture


Kurbingaibah wins National Award –

The Ningy Ningy Cultural Heritage Association is the proud winner of the 2001 National Australia Bank Community Link Volunteer Award for Environment, Conservation and Heritage.

Receiving the award on behalf of the association in Melbourne at the International Year of the Volunteers Conference Dinner in October 2001, Ningy Ningy Songwoman Maroochy Barambah praised the outstanding contribution volunteers have made to Kurbingaibah in the past year. Volunteers participated in the construction of four frog ponds, restoration of the Kippa-Rings and connecting pathway, revegetation and maintenance of 5.75 acres of culturally significant land, cultural & environmental education, computer skills training, native species identification, native species seed collection, weed collection & management, fence construction, painting, and renovating the existing hall. By working side by side with the Ningy Ningy Traditional Owners, the volunteers have not only engaged in productive community activities, but also assisted in re-establishing an important educational, cultural, social, environmental and economic resource base for present and future generations, Ms Barambah added.

Over 3,000 applications were reported to have been received for this award. The Redcliffe community, according to Ms Barambah, is the real winner of this award. There is a great sense of pride and purpose among our team and we are very grateful to have had individuals as well as organisational support in the past one year, ranging from Greening Australia to the American students from the School of International Training and Daki Budtcha Pty Ltd.

Ms Barambah also seized the opportunity to thank the National Australia Bank, the Federal Member for Petrie Ms Teresa Gambaro, the Redcliffe City Council, DEWRSB and Mission Australia for their support.

Proceeds from the NAB award will be used to acquire multi-media equipment to produce and deliver educational programs in cultural awareness, language lessons, music and dance classes / workshops for local community groups, primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions. 

Kurbingaibah Set For Infrastructure Phase –

Kurbingaibah, the Ningy Ningy Centre for Indigenous Awareness at Kippa-Ring, is gearing up for the next stage of works. The award winning centre has to date undertaken various aspects of land management activities ranging from the planting of over three thousand plants of different local provenance species to the construction of frog ponds aimed at attracting birds and other wildlife back to the peninsula.

Ningy Ningy Elder, Ms Connie Isaacs says that the next phase of works at Kurbingaibah is shaping up as one of the more exciting aspects of works. It will entail the relocation of four historic buildings from the site of the former Gona Barracks at Kelvin Grove in Brisbane. The buildings were relocated from Wacol during the 1950s. Alterations earmarked for the buildings include the construction of new verandahs, repositioning of doors and windows to facilitate cultural and education uses, and the repainting of some of the buildings.  

The Ningy Ningy people would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed immensely to transforming Kurbingaibah from what it was in 1999 to what it is to-day.


Contact the Ningy Ningy

Phone: +61 -7 -3846 7722

Fax: +61 -7 -3846 7020


P.O. Box 3261 

South Brisbane 4101