There's plenty of chairs down the front here.
Ok. I've just had time to finish my meal and been for a nervous pee, so I we can start. Hello, my name's Charlie, and I'm one of the Committee members of Friends of Kinaba, and we're hosting this event tonight.
Charlie, speak up.
Speak Up? Up here? Is that. OK? Yep.

For those of you not familiar with Friends of Kinaba, it is a community based volunteer organisation committed to help National Parks and Wildlife Service in restoring and maintaining Kinaba, also known as Sir Thomas Hiley Information Centre as a unique and iconic public facility. Tonight isn't all about Kinaba. You'll find out about that from our guest speakers.

So on behalf of the Friends of Kinaba Committee I'd like to acknowledge our guest speakers. Ken will do some introductions in a moment. He'll also thank the publicans. We need to thank Chris for the video recording…the video recording of tonight's events, and also Martin who will weave it into our website. Thanks also to the Parks and Wildlife staff for their support, the Sailing Club for the loan of this lectern, Ken Eddy for arranging his organising skills and to bring our guest speakers along. I'll just finish up by saying if anyone's interested to receive Friends of Kinaba information or to join our group, leave your details on the piece of paper on the table near the far door, and feel free to donate any preferably gold coins to our outboard fund. And that's it for me, and I'll hand over to Ken Eddy who will introduce our guests.


Thank you Charlie. Now the first thing I suppose is to mention the reason I wanted to do this was partly.. I've been lucky enough to have been up and down the river, particularly this end of it for just over 35 years. Time after time I would go up the river and people would, I'd try to find out more, and a lot of other people (bit louder, can't hear - go a bit closer to the mic - is that any better, a bit louder? OK, right) I was just saying I've always had an interest in the top end of the river in particular and my work took me there for years, and my other interests took me there - canoeing, camping and whathaveyou. So often, recently I've been running into a lot of backpackers and tourists who didn't have that knowledge, but they were very keen and asked about what was going on. So I thought well we all probably need to know about that, so I was lucky enough, I knew some people, so I thought, and being involved with the Friends of Kinaba, I thought we'd see if we can get this going. And I'm very heartened to see there is obviously a lot of interest from all sorts of people, and that's wonderful. Thanks for coming.

Now I don't know if any of you, I got here in 1976 just after that there was a movie made called “Eliza Fraser”, and I got a bit, I saw it when it first came out, and living here I got interested, and I thought well I'll see how factual that is at all. Now this is just to show you how movies can bend history, and I quote from Wikipaedia “Eliza Fraser is a 1976 Australian bawdy venture drama film, directed by Tim Burstall and starring Susannah York, Trevor Howard, Noel Ferrier and John Castle. The screenplay was written by David Williamson (whose still around here I suppose and it goes on to say) the film was the first Australian film with a big budget costing $1.2m Australian dollars to make for the fact that Susannah York and Trevor Howard were brought from the United Kingdom to headline this Australian picture, which was filmed in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The film has been described as a classic Aussie tale of colonial hardship and bawdy beginnings, and has been described as a sex romp”

Now having been up the river lots of times I can't imagine all that happening up there. Some of it, not all of it. So that I thought, that is interesting how things change. Anyway, about 1850s the gold at Gympie came along and the early settlement that turned into Brisbane as we know it today, pushed people into new enterprises. And we are very fortunate to have living locally, 2 people who have taken more that just a passing interest in this area, have spent a lot of time and energy to research the information, put it into some order for our benefit tonight. The first speaker is going to be Dr Elaine Brown over here (clapping) Thanks very much Elaine. After she has been a high school teacher for 35 years which is a marathon in itself, tireless historian, museum worker and author who has published the book Cooloola Coast in 2000 which many of you may have seen, and she will tell us about the history of the area from about 180 years ago. Then we'll have a break for 15 minutes or so, so you can recharge your glasses or whatever, then Ron Turner over there, and Ron was appointed the first District Ranger to oversee the newly declared National Park areas. And he took a very keen interest in the establishment of the Sir Thomas Hiley Centre or Kinaba as it is often known. He'll tell us more about the planning and the building of the place, and after that there will be time for some questions.

And also I'd like to thank the new hosts, they've come on board very quickly, Greg and Michelle Brain and the staff tonight who are serving you for allowing us to use the venue. I personally was really happy when they did that because I think it's a very appropriate place to hear this information. There's no doubt some of the characters described tonight may have taken refreshments in this very room when it was in Gympie. And some of the present caretakers of the Park still do. So it has a lot of uses. Thank you and enjoy.

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