$130,000 in Grants to Support Rainforest Aboriginal Groups

February 16, 2018

Abriculture rangers working on eradicating yellow crazy ants

Image courtesy of Wet Tropics Management Authority

Ten Wet Tropics Rainforest Aboriginal groups will share in $130,000 of grants thanks to a Terrain NRM and Wet Tropics Management Authority program.

Terrain NRM's Vanessa Drysdale said $90,000 of this funding was made possible through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, and would support country-based planning, leadership and knowledge-sharing opportunities.

“This funding will help fulfil traditional management practices, enhance cultural recognition and preservation, and support sustainable livelihood and involvement in natural resource management,” Ms Drysdale said.

The remaining $40,000 was provided through the Wet Tropics Management Authority.

 

The Authority's Scott Buchanan said the successful applicants exemplified the strong management of Country by Traditional Owners throughout the Wet Tropics.

“The breadth of projects funded shows excellent on-Country management, but also demonstrates the many different interests of Traditional Owner groups in the region,” he said.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the grants were community-driven and congratulated all the recipients.

Groups funded are Mungalla Aboriginal Corporation; Girringun Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of Kinjufile – Gulnay Traditional Owners; Dulabed Malanbarra and Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC; Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation; Mamu Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC; Abriculture; Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation PBC; Djunbunji Ltd; Bana Yarralji Bubu Bayan Kabanji Inc; and Western Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.

Gulnay Traditional Owner Clarence Kinjun said the group would be using film to record the cultural and environmental values of the Tully River for the Gulnay people.

The film will document traditional stories, place names and cultural places, and also the changes along the river that impact traditional country and culture.

“Over the years a lot of things have changed the river and the landscape - weeds, bank erosion, introduced fish like tilapia…,’’ he said.

“It’s really important to share a Traditional Owner perspective with the wider community. It brings a better understanding for everyone. It’ll bring a lot of value to other projects too.  The river doesn’t just have one value – it has got recreational values, cultural values and environmental values.”

Gimuy Walubara Yidinji has been working with Abriculture to develop sustainable tourism opportunities and ranger work for more than seven years.  Abriculture spokesman Gudjugudju Fourmile said their grant would enable a review and update of the Gimuy Plan.

“Country-based planning is a way for tribal owners to identify opportunities on Country for partnerships, economic development and biocultural management,’’ he said.

“The Gimuy Plan brought the Gimuy community together and defined a vision for Gimuy Walubara Yidinji to focus on.  A review and update of the plan will make sure elders’ aspirations, values and concerns for country are heard. It will prioritise actions with partners and stakeholders, and identify avenues of sustainable livelihoods, economic development and income generation.”

Jenny Joyce from Mamu Aboriginal Corporation said the organisation would be launching a mapping project soon which would help Traditional Owners to identify priority areas for partnerships and management. The organisation is also hoping to develop a ranger program to manage on-ground works.

“Traditional Owners’ vision for land and sea country can then be articulated in a Country-based plan,’’ she said.

“It’s a great enabler of more effective and respectful partnerships between stakeholders. Bringing Mamu Traditional Owners closer together is really important. It will help move our people forward and build a stronger connection to our Country.”

The groups are working with their region’s Community Partnership agents to develop their project plans, with projects expected to be completed by mid-2018.

For more information contact Terrain's Community Partnerships team on 4043 8000.