Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships

Isa Rodeo have again teamed up with Mona Aboriginal Corporation to deliver the second Mount Isa Mines Indigenous Rodeo Championships, a stand-alone event and expansion of the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo event program.

Dedicated Program

This event will showcase the amazing talents of Indigenous Rodeo competitors and give visibility to the stories of Australia’s Indigenous Stockmen and Stockwomen. It will connect visitors to the northwest Queensland region, the Kalkadoon people, their stories and culture as well as the visiting indigenous communities of northern Queensland.

It will create lasting memories, discovery and learning and will be a new opportunity to celebrate the many visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through sport, song and dance, art and storytelling.

Mona Aboriginal Corporation

The Vision of the Mona Aboriginal Corporation is to “Empower our Youth of Today for Tomorrow”.

The Mona Aboriginal Corporation is 100% Indigenous owned and run with 100% Indigenous staffing and volunteers and aims to empower Indigenous people as an organisation into the future.

To achieve our vision, the Mona Aboriginal Corporation has developed a number of culturally appropriate programs including a Cultural Horsemanship Program, Junior Ranger Mentor Program as well as an On Country Program for Youth Justice for the Mount Isa Region.

These programs were all tailored towards an intervention for troubled adolescents.

Kalkutungu (Kalkadoon) Country

Northwest Queensland’s rodeo and cattle industry was built upon the foundations laid by the Kalkutungu people across the rugged and ancient country of the Mount Isa region.  Since the early 1900s when forced removal and displacement of Indigenous people began, it was local cattle stations where many Kalkutungu families were placed.  During these times of segregation and loss of culture, Kalkutungu men and women were forced into poorly paid and often unpaid work on these stations.  However, despite the immense loss of identity felt by the Kalkutungu people, the passion for station work was formed and the legacy of Indigenous stockmen and women in the northwest was created.  Kalkutungu presence within northwest Queensland’s rodeo and cattle industry continues to grow to this day, with many descendants of the original Kalkutungu stockmen and women now running local stations and competing on the rodeo circuit.

Alongside the need to continue legacies within the rodeo and cattle industries, the need to continue the legacy of Kalkutungu culture stands just as prominent.  During the Stolen Generations many other Kalkutungu were sent to Aboriginal missions off country, most commonly, Palm Island and Yarrabah.  Despite being forcibly removed from their country, the Kalkutungu fought hard to continue their culture and would go on to earn the name ‘Sundowners’, by others during their time on Palm Island due to their connections being to the west where the sun would set. Today the legacy of the Kalkutungu people and original Sundowners are carried on through the revival of Kalkutungu culture through dance and language, by the Sundowners Kalkutungu dancers, who pay homage to their namesakes by actively continuing the fight of their ancestors by continuing and sharing Kalkutungu culture which many had given their life to protect.

Sundowners Kalkutungu Dancers

Beginning back in 2015 as the Sundowners Kalkutungu Dancers, when performers and cultural mentors Ronaldo Guivarra, Arthur "Turtle" Tamwoy, Nicole Willis, Jonathon Owens and Quinto Calarco travelled out to Mount Isa to deliver cultural dance workshops to local Aboriginal children and adults, organised by Malkarri Cultural Centre Secretary, Sheree Blackley.

The Sundowners Kalkutungu Dancers are advocates for culture to be in the forefront of every aspect of the Mount Isa community. Malkarri meaning 'come together to corroboree' has seen the group implement a Board of Directors, made up of Kalkutungu Elders. These Elders bring the knowledge and experience needed to continue their authentic and unique cultural work and help reiterate the importance of intergenerational sharing.

They are proud to continue their cultural work in and around the Mount Isa community and are thankful for the ongoing support of their professional partnerships, families, and Kalkutungu tribe.