"The Gunduy/Gundulu (Cassowary) is a large flightless bird that roams North Queensland’s tropical rainforests. Cassowaries are primarily frugivores (fruit eaters), the unique bird with a long blue neck, a red wattle hanging from its neck, and a brown casque (helmet). The Cassowary is now listed as ‘endangered’ under the EPBC Act. This large flightless bird was an important traditional food source to our rainforest people. Still to this day the Gunduy holds great significance to rainforest Aboriginal peoples. Our people, the Rainforest Aboriginal people of Far North Queensland have lived with cassowaries for thousands of years or since Dreamtime. These birds are an important part of our culture, stories, songs, dances and identity. Our rainforest aboriginal culture is interconnected with the Gunduy and our country. They are a part of us and are a very important animal for our rainforests and our culture. The cassowary distributes over 200 species of seeds in its droppings. The survival of many rainforest trees is tied to the cassowaries’ survival. They are rainforest regenerators."
In this video, Girramay Elder, Uncle Claude Beeron tells the story of “Goondoye” and how he came to be transformed from a man into the solitary bird of the rainforest.