masked corroborees of the northwest ‘stand up in my head’

An interdisciplinary cross cultural Ph.D. thesis including a 47min documentary film

As we children clambered over the rocks of a waterfall near Mena Creek in far north Queensland, the exhilarating moment came mid air, in full plummet, jumping from the top of the waterfall. The waterfall, a childhood edifice, was sanctuary and lighthouse to us kids. There we moved quickly and with certainty over the wet rocks. At some sections we went slowly, sliding our feet carefully across the algae covered granite to find traction. Visitors would often slip up on those rocks. We could see it coming a mile off cracked heads and bruised thighs were the result even though warnings were given. Visitors, in their enthusiasm to reach the pool below, did not look where they were going. No, that is not quite right. Visitors didn’t know where to place their feet. One careless step and over the top of the waterfall they would be washed, take a metre and a half drop into a basin then be flushed out and over the main cascade. They re-emerged, shaken and sore; in the middle of the pool below their beaming smiles broadcast wonderment at having survived.