Established in 2000, the Surat Aboriginal Corporation (SAC) was originally founded to preserve a permanent record of the lives, history, traditions and culture of Aboriginal people in the Surat district, including the Mandandanji, the traditional owners.
As a result of the organisation’s exceptional record and credibility, in 2008 the Commonwealth requested SAC take responsibility for Indigenous cultural development for the Maranao region. The Corporation grew into a well-respected establishment and one of Queensland’s leading Aboriginal Corporations, committed to not only the preservation, promotion and development of Indigenous Culture, but the support and sustainability of Indigenous communities, and the physical and mental health, wellbeing and positive identity of Indigenous people across South West Queensland.
Based in Surat, with a focus on the Maranoa region, SAC is the main provider of Indigenous cultural and historical material to schools and tertiary institutions, tourism associations, community development committees, individuals and grey nomads passing through the area who become potential distributors of the local knowledge and stories passed on to them.
Delivering health and community services to multiple towns across the Maranoa, the Corporation has, and continues to, develop and implement various programs including: Culture & Capability / Indigenous Culture Support; Safety & Wellbeing; Children & Schooling.
Since 2012, SAC has also been developing and delivering cultural tourism as well as safety and wellbing projects to the Indigenous communities in the wider region of South West Queensland. SAC has delivered ICE workshops to the towns of St George, Cunnamulla, Charleville and Roma, and continues in the ground-breaking development of the South West Qld Indigenous Cultural Trail in all of those locations as well as Mitchell, Surat and Dirranbandi.
Angie Walsh was a proud Indigenous woman from the Kamilaroi tribe and founder of the Surat Aboriginal Corporation. Born in 1960, she grew up on the riverbank in the Town Camp up by the Sawmill, 5kms outside the township of Surat. Angie went to school in Surat with her three sisters and at the age of nine, moved into town with her family. Although she had many fond childhood memories, like many Indigenous people, she faced hardship and adversity throughout her life.
Angie’s life experiences, though, shaped her deep love for family which grew into caring about the Aboriginal community in Surat and in turn the Indigenous communities throughout South West Queensland.
Her passion and dedication to the preservation and sharing of Indigenous culture was compelling and led to the development of many projects: in particular – The Houses and Humpies Exhibition, the Interpretive Shelter and most recently the South West Qld Indigenous Cultural Trail – all of which were just the beginning of an amazing legacy.
Her dream was to see the Aboriginal stories being taught in school, and have more research conducted on Aboriginal history. She wanted to empower her Aboriginal community and ensure that her culture was not lost, but celebrated and shared.
She was a proud Aboriginal Woman.
“Establishing the Surat Aboriginal Corporation and developing all these projects has brought fulfillment and strength to my life, and I’ve passed that onto my kids. I’ve said many times to them – Never be ashamed of the colour of your skin, it is what makes you strong. Be proud of who you are. We are Aboriginal and I am proud of that.”
“I love my culture and sharing it through projects like Houses and Humpies, the Interpretive Shelter and of course the Trail, makes me proud of what we’ve achieved.” - Angie Walsh
25/06/1960 - 11/09/2018