ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM: The Shire has been working in partnership with the Visitor Centre to record oral histories from members of the community on Home Island over the past twelve months. Oral histories are an invaluable resource for current and future generations and provide a primary source of historical knowledge. On Home Island we having been working in collaboration with Cocos Keeling Islands Visitor Centre and Parks Australia to support four Emerging Curators, Lanif Yakin, Siddiq Juljali, Shaniyah Kenneth and Amallia Alim in recording oral histories. To-date the four curators have interviewed eight Cocos Malay elders. The topics covered range from the art of jukong building to everyday life as experienced in the “olden days” as the elders refer to it, and the more significant events such as the Act of Self Determination. We are grateful to the team at the Visitor Centre who are currently compiling all the interviews, having them translated into English and collecting old photos as reference to events discussed in the interviews. We are now delighted to expand the program to commence gathering oral histories of people on West Island. It will be wonderful to have the stories of people who have contributed to the development of Cocos, to make it what it is today, captured for current and future generations to enjoy and learn from. These stories will be made available to the community via a variety of mediums, including at a community event in the coming weeks. If you have a Cocos story and would like to have your story recorded, please contact Isa Minkom at the Shire and we will arrange for you to be interviewed. Isa is also keen to hear from people who would like to get involved as an interviewer or in assisting with transcribing the oral histories. Training and equipment will be provided.
ARTS GROUP: Thank you to the small but passionate group of people who have registered to be on an informal group keen to assist the Shire in developing and implementing an arts and cultural program on Cocos. At the first meeting of the group we came up with several ideas we would like to progress together. Some of the ideas so far include an annual exhibition, art trail, workshops and artists in residence program, poetry in the pub, music and dance. If you would like to be involved and join this lively group of people interested in the arts, please contact Isa Minkom.
MAJU PULU KITA MASTERPLAN PROJECTS: The Home Island Cyclone Shelter is a bit of a construction site this week as the shelter over the steps is being installed. Once installed this will provide a great venue for an outdoor cinema/theatre space and in the coming weeks, we will commence a program for the community to enjoy. Recycling on Home Island was another priority project in the Maju Pulu Kita Masterplan so we were excited to receive the glass crusher and can crusher on the last ship. This equipment will be in installed in the coming weeks. We will be delivering nformation on recycling to each household plus running a series of open days for community groups to have a look at the equipment in action.
MUSEUM/RICE STORE HERITAGE BUILDING: The old Rice Store, currently the Museum/Visitor Centre on Home Island has recently had some urgent remedial works by way of re-pointing of bricks. This work was essential to preserve the structure of this invaluable heritage building. Once this has had a chance to dry, the building will be re-painted and will be looking as good as new. Well done to the crew on a great job.
These are just a quick summary of some of the current Shire activities that may be of interest to our community. As always, community members are more than welcome to contact me at any stage to discuss the details of any other items of interest or concern.
Chief Executive Officer