Login Form

Quandamooka Jetty


What is the Quandamooka

Paul Songhurst at official hand over

Quandamooka is commonly defined as the region and indigenous people of Moreton Bay and its Islands.

The Quandamooka Project is a project for all people living on and visiting the Moreton Bay area. It celebrates the Bay with its rich reefs, mangroves, sand flats, sandy beaches and the way it has provided food, work, recreation and enjoyment for countless generations. The project name comes from the Quandamooka Peoples whose legends tell of their custodianship of these resources since creation.

Since 2001, both indigenous and European residents have cooperated closely to create this special place, Quandamooka Place -with a focus on the rich cultural and environmental heritage of the Bay. The working group consists of the Wynnum & Manly Rotary Club, the Winnam Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation (Winnam ATSIC), and the Brisbane City Council. This special place is sited at Pandanus Beach and extends along the Wynnum Jetty. The Brisbane City Council has undertaken a $400,000 upgrade of the Jetty that complements the Quandamooka Project. A public design competition in 2002 was won by a young designer Paul Songhurst titled Bulka Booangun: Calling the Dolphins.

Major features include:
  • a five metre high timber and ceramic sculpture at the entrance to the jetty, made from three recycled hardwood pylons
  • six in-ground ceramic artwork panels 2.8 metres wide set into the deck of the jetty featuring designs inspired by traditional Quandamooka lore
  • a 2.0m diameter in-ground ceramic artwork “direction-finder” dial at the sea-ward end of the jetty indicating visible landmarks of the Bay and various other elements related to 'finding direction'
  • At the mid-point of the jetty, a 4.0m tall stainless steel sculpture resembling three spears commemorates the age-old cooperation between the indigenous people of Quandamooka and the dolphins

Each week, thousands of visitors flock to the foreshore to gaze at the islands, launch boats for casual fishing, stroll along the boardwalk and picnic on the esplanade extending four kilometres from Wynnum Creek to Lota Creek. Improvements such as Quandamooka Place and public works by Brisbane City Council and Port of Brisbane Corporation will attract even greater numbers to the foreshore.

Quandamooka Place will become the focus of such recreational activities, a must-see place and a central point from which to fan out for a day - or an hour - of enjoyment. It will also create a cultural and educational asset for future generations. The project has been endorsed by all schools in the area, the Brisbane City Council, the Wynnum Chamber of Commerce, and the Wynnum Historical Society.

The path work and entrance sculpture was officially handed over to Lord Mayor Campbell Newman on the 16th of July 2005.

The Project was initiated by the Rotary Club of Wynnum & Manly as a fiftieth anniversary project 1953 -2003.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman
Lord Mayor Campbell Newman

Aunty Margaret Iselin

Stevon Newton


Wynnum Jetty, Wynnum

The concept of 'Bulka Booangun - calling the dolphins' revolves around telling a story, of place, people, time and tide. The concept is manifest in the form of sculptural elements integrated into the existing jetty, including surface treatments along the path. Along the jetty there are numerous sculptures and in-ground artworks that express elements of this story. The exploration of these artwork installations is a journey, one that takes the observer back through time from present day to the time of the dreaming.

The design concept for Bulka Booangun:
Calling the Dolphins takes the observer on a journey of discovery by telling the story of a traditional fishing practice of the local indigenous peoples from time long past.


“There was a special bond between the Aboriginal people of Quandamooka and the dolphins. Three or four men went out into knee to waist deep water to attract the dolphins. They would clap their spears together, slap them on the water and sometimes dig them into the sand to make a squeaking sound. The dolphins could hear this because they have a very good sense of hearing and would come towards the shore herding the fish together into gutters. Once the fish were in the gutters all the adult people would form rows using towrow nets and the dolphins would chase them in. Once the people had enough to eat they would always give fish back to the dolphins to thank them, sometimes feeding them with fish from the end of their spears. This special way of fishing was celebrated in a corroboree called Bulka Booangun.”
Auntie Margaret Iselin and Uncle Keith Borey Minjerribah / Moorgumpin Elders

Wynnum Jetty

While the Wynnum Jetty provides a physical connection from land to sea, 'Bulka Booangun' provides a vital connection to the unique environment of Moreton Bay, a connection to its past, present and future and a connection to a greater understanding of the indigenous peoples of the area; their culture, languages, practices, history and dreamings. This project aims to promote a greater understanding of the past in order to create a pathway towards our shared future, capturing the spirit of Moreton Bay through a simple, yet powerful story of working together.

Quandamooka Totem Sculpture The five-metre high timber ‘totem’ entry sculpture reflects on a connection between land and sea, a connection with the senses, to the past, present and future, a connection to the processes of reconciliation, cooperation and sustainability and importantly an opportunity to open one’s mind for the journey ahead. This sculpture draws inspiration from such elements as the pylons of the original timber pier that once stood in this location (No. 2 Pier, Wynnum), the forests that once grew along these shores to the three to four men that would go out into knee to waist deep water to ‘call’ the dolphins. The ripple-like forms and the simple text carved and charred into the three poles provide cues to the inherent meaning behind the sculptural installation. Making the Totem
ceramic artwork The six in-ground ceramic artwork panels explore the concepts of “Flotsam and Jetsam,” “Time and Tide”, the connection between land and sea and perspectives on Nature through six key stories or ‘understandings’ of signs in nature from traditional Quandamooka lore.

The ‘understandings’ presented include:
  1. The Sea Eagle signals the location of the schools of fish and people used this sea bird when catching schools of fish. The bird flying over the water would show them where the fish were located and the people could prepare for the catch.
  2. When Lorikeets are plentiful it is a good season for sea mullet.
  3. When the Wattle is in flower it signals the beginning of the tailor season.
  4. When the Blackbutt is in flower, it means that parrot fish are in the bay.
  5. When hairy grubs travel linked together in a long row, it means the mullet season is starting and the fish are moving up the east coast to their spawning grounds.
  6. When the Hop Bush is in flower oysters are at their best.
ceramic artwork ceramic artwork
Mid-pint Spear Sculpture

The Stainless Steel ‘Spear’ Sculpture at the mid-point of the jetty is of great significance to the overall design concept. Standing approximately four metres tall, this sculpture represents the spears used by local Quandamooka indigenous peoples in ‘calling the dolphins’. In this tradition, spears are used in a non-violent manner to communicate with the dolphins. This communication initiates a powerful relationship of cooperation between people and the natural environment. The inherent principles of this sculpture are the messages of environmental and social sustainability, of mutual respect and understanding between people and the bay and importantly of cooperation between people and between people and the natural environment. This sculpture has a strong visual connection to the forms of Cranes on the horizon at the Port of Brisbane - Fisherman Islands. The visual connection to Fisherman Islands reflects on the connection to the story of the traditional indigenous fishing story around which the design concept of ‘calling the dolphins’ is based as well as to the current fishing that takes place in Moreton Bay.

Stainless Steel ‘Spear’ Sculpture: Daniel Della-Bosca
Concept Design: Paul Songhurst
The Stainless Steel ‘Spear’ Sculpture

Direction Finding Dial

Direction Finder ceramic artwork
The ‘Direction-finding’ dial is a two metre diameter in-ground ceramic artwork designed to express the many different ways of ‘finding direction’ - from points on the compass and local landmarks to the location of the Sun and Stars and ever-changing colour in the sky, this highly interpretive artwork is a key turning-point in the jetty journey. The dial is designed to bring a point of connection, both to this place and to the processes around which the design has been developed. Central to the design of the interpretive ‘direction-finder’ dial is the ripples of change.
Moreton Bay Map
Private Sponsors
Ken Gisler
Bill and Barbara Burkitt
Robert and Carol Ferguson
Frank and Annette Davies
Michael and Elizabeth O’Shea
In Memory Of Dare Christopher John Power
Location on Google Map