IN 2015, the Airlie Beach-based Cumberland Charter Yachts ran a competition to name a new vessel that was joining the fleet.

After many suggestions, the name "Whitsunday Dreaming" was chosen - submitted by a loyal customer, Lin Sarjeant, from a poem she had written some years back, describing her holiday experience on board another vessel in the Cumberland fleet.

On Friday, at Abell Point Marina, Whitsunday Dreaming, the first power lagoon of her kind in charter in Australia, was officially launched, with an Aboriginal art exhibit.

Cumberland Charter Yachts General Manager, Sharon McNally, said the name was the perfect choice for the yacht.

"Whitsunday Dreaming represents the coastal land and sea, cruising the Whitsunday coast (and) dreaming in the iconic Whitsundays," she said.

An original piece of artwork for the vessel was designed by a couple of Aboriginal artists from the local Ngaro and Gia tribes.


Ms McNally said it was important for the vessel's imagery to represent the region's history and culture.

"This is why we (also) enlisted the help of the Whitsunday Regional Gallery to coordinate the project (and) without whom this could not have been possible," she said, paying special tribute to gallery coordinator Jacinta Beatts "for her endless passion and assistance on this project".

Regional Aboriginal Elder, Sue West opened the launch by delivering the Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement to Country speech.

This was followed by multiple dance performances by indigenous dancers, which were thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd gathered on the pier.

Inside the boat, pieces of artwork created by two Aboriginal artists were on display.

Nicky Pryor was one of the artists whose work was on show and said it was a very proud moment to see five of his pieces featured.

"I've being doing art all my life" he said, adding "I learnt from my mum and she was an artist."

Fellow artist Patricia Brinble was equally moved by the experience

"It's really good to see it all up here," she said.

"I've been working on them since September 2015 so it's been a long time."

The story behind Whitsunday Dreaming's artwork

Ancestors say Gubulla Munda is a large carpet snake created for the Gudjuda Gurries of the Whitsunday islands, Proserpine, Bowen and north throughout the Burdekin.

The carpet snake is named either Munda Gara or Gubulla Munda, depending on each tribe's ancestral dialect.

Once formed, Gubulla Munda made its way to the ocean and up and down the coast, living on land and sea.

It would lay its eggs in the ocean, which in time turned to islands.

And while on dry land, it travelled over hills and mountains, releasing fluid from its body creating rivers and creeks.

While travelling on land and sea, Gubulla Munda would keep a watchful eye on his people and continues to do so today.

The 'Whitsunday Dreaming' design has incorporated the authentic story as told by the ancestral elders of the Gnaro and the Gia tribal Clans.

It also depicts the Eongee, or ancestral spirit light, that watches over and is specific to the Whitsundays.

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