The Big Dugong in Rockhampton
The Story of The Big Dugong
The Big Dugong symbolizes Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture well preserved at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre in Rockhampton, Central Queensland.
If you have never seen a dugong before, you’ll be surprised by the enormous concrete complex replicating the creature. The weird-looking sea mammal’s replication was built in 1992.
The Big Dugong was built to expand the Torres Strait Islander complex in the cultural centre, preserving the culture and history of the Darumbal Tribe. It measures 22 metres long, 12 metres wide, and 5 metres high.
The oversized structure also features a steel-framed body reinforced with concrete and fibreglass.
The complex has a shop selling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander souvenirs. Additionally, some sacred and valuable materials belonging to the indigenous tribes are securely stored in the complex.
The massive structure symbolizes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture. Historically, the dugongs were a special source of nutritious food for the aboriginal people.
Australia was once home to the largest population of dugongs globally. However, due to its dwindling population, caused by hunting and their low reproduction rate, the mammal is now a protected species.
Additionally, the sea mammal has peculiar similarities with human beings.
For example, dugongs can live up to 70 years of age and only give birth a few times during their lifetime. Also, their reproductive age is almost similar to that of the human puberty period ranging between 10 and 17 years old. In addition, dugongs’ gestation period is 13 months, quite close to the human 9-month period. Surprisingly, however, these creatures are distantly related to elephants and not humans.
Please note that the Big Dugong sculpture is not the same as the Big Bogong Moths. While the two sculptures share rhyming names, they are completely different.