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Gumbi Gumbi Gardens

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Gumbi Gumbi Gardens have been established through a partnership between the community and the University of Southern Queensland as a place for learning and the sharing of ideas.

Building on ancient traditions and cherished stories, it continues the conversation between peoples that has brought us to this point in time and it provides a path to opportunities yet to be realised.

The symbol of these Gardens – the gumbi gumbi (Pittosporum angustifolium) – was introduced to Toowoomba from further west as a multi-purpose medicine by Joyce and Walter McCarthy. It represents knowledge, growth and healing.

These Gardens tell the story of the growth journey we all take; learning from our past to inform our future. It is a story of mutual dependence, of walking and growing together and of confidence in the future.

“Let us look at where we have been and where we are going, and through education make the journey together.”

Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the Giabal and Jarowair people as the traditional custodians of the land where this campus and these Gardens now stand. We pay respect to their elders – past, present and future – and acknowledge that these lands have always been places of teaching and learning.

Visiting the Gardens

Adding to Toowoomba’s reputation as the Garden City, the Gumbi Gumbi Gardens Cultural site features extensive plantings of indigenous flora used by the local Aboriginal communities for a range of purposes, including food and medicine.

The Gumbi Gumbi Gardens covers approximately 2.2 hectares of land adjacent to the northern side of the USQ Toowoomba’s main entrance and include a number of small and large teaching spaces infused into the overall character of the development.

More than 100 plant species are featured in the Gumbi Gumbi Gardens, which have been designed in close partnership with respected Historical Elders from Toowoomba and Elders of the Jarowair People, Traditional Owners of the land on which the USQ Toowoomba campus resides.

The Gumbi Gumbi Gardens forms one part of the University’s commitment to developing a better understanding of local Indigenous heritage, and acknowledging the culture and contribution they have continued to make to their region.

Take a tour of the Gardens using our new App!

The App offers a window into local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences of history, culture, learning and everyday life. Elders share their stories and ideas giving you an unique opportunity to enjoy the Gardens through 'others' eyes and walk together toward reconciliation. The app is available for iOS and Android devices and is best experienced with a set of headphones.  Please visit our Gumbi Gumbi Gardens Mobile App page for more information on the App's features.

Perspectives

Download a couple of poems that help illuminate the underlying philosophy of the gardens: