SONAR mappings for lost graves at Bundaberg Cemetery of South Sea Islanders, Indigenous and Chinese residents could be as much about the future as the past, according to elder Dudley Byquar.

Mr Byquar said he hoped the project would raise awareness of the traditional culture of South Sea Islanders.

“I would like to see our heritage keep going and I hope it teaches them (young South Sea Islanders) our history,” Mr Byquar said.

The project is being run by the Australian South Sea Islander Action Group and as part of the Green Corps initiative, and will also include cultural workshops and the building of a replica kanaka wall.

Australian South Sea Islander Action Group representative Matt Nagas said the sonar exploration would be an important part in uncovering the history of South Sea Islanders in the area by finding 100-year-old graves which had been covered up.