Marching with a Mission Cherbourg's Marching GirlsLesley Williams
Between 1957 and 1962, young women and girls from the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement in Queensland actively participated in Marching Girls competitions and displays locally, regionally and even nationally. As Aboriginal teams, they were a rare presence in the thriving sport of competitive marching.
Cherbourg was established as a settlement, also called a mission or reserve, under the Aboriginals. Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897, which forcibly relocated thousands of Aboriginal people from all over the state. Inmates of Cherbourg survived despite the harsh and repressive settlement conditions. Activities like sport helped in this process of survival.
Through an array of photographs, newspaper clippings, archival reports and the voices of the Marching Gurls themselves, Marching with a Mission captures the proud contribution of these young Cherbourg women, their families and their supporters to their sport and to their community.