Massacre in folklore as Indigenous elder asks for protection

THE site of one of the darkest moments in Ipswich's Indigenous history should be preserved for future generations, an elder says.

As developers plan to build a 925-home estate at Deebing Creek, Indigenous elder Wade Thompson has called for the preservation of the area.

Deebing Creek Mission was a place of hardship for many Aboriginals, he said.

Further along the banks of the creek a cemetery, with a single headstone for Julia Ford, is located.

The story of a massacre at Deebing Creek in colonial times has been passed down through generations of local Aboriginal tribes.

Folklore tells the story of a group of school children shot at the mission site and of their teacher being killed in the crossfire as she tried to stop the killings.

Mr Thompson said the sacred area represented a dark episode in Indigenous history but it should be preserved.

He wants the site turned into a place of cultural learning.

"There's a lot to learn from both sides," he said. "Missions have a bad stigma to them but at the end of the day, they helped our people too.

"We wouldn't be here without them."

Development will not occur at the cemetery but bushland between it and the mission will become a residential estate.

Frasers Property has previously said the development would open the privately-owned mission to the public for the first time in 103 years.

"The mission site is an important part of Queensland history and is particularly significant to descendants of the Indigenous people who were residents at the mission," Frasers Queensland residential general manager Cameron Leggatt said

The heritage-listed former mission area will feature a memorial sporting field, rehabilitated landscape, heritage trails, installations that retell the important story of the Deebing Creek Mission and its people, and increased green space along Deebing Creek.

A court injunction has been lodged to stop work at the site from starting, with mediation set for February 20.

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