Traditional Owner Water Quality Grants

Click here for the Aboriginal Cultural and NRM Plan for the Wet Tropics Region (BAMA).

Traditional Owner (TO) groups in the Wet Tropics are contributing to improving the quality of water flowing from waterways and wetlands on their Country into the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. Several have successfully applied for Traditional Owner Water Quality Grants funded through the Queensland Government's Regional Natural Resource Management Program.  

The grants of $5,000-$15,000 seek to support TO's across the Wet Tropics region to run projects that help improve water quality. The project also aims to strengthen the capacity of Traditional Owner groups to effectively contribute to broader natural resource management outcomes.

Terrain assists potential applicants in applying for grants and identifying partner arrangements that will enhance the quality of their projects. Once successful we also provide mentoring support to build capacity in:

  • on-ground application
  • project planning and management
  • budgeting
  • communications
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • reporting


Terrain connects Traditional Owner groups with scientists, local governments, community groups and the business sector.

We utilise our partnerships with the science community (including CSIRO, James Cook University, Reef and Rainforest Research Centre) to broker science and technical advice around the planning for, and delivery of water quality projects funded by this program.

Emphasis is placed on integrating the wetlands and waterways efforts of this project with other programs such as the Queensland Government wetlands program, Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Extension and Education, the Australian Government’s Reef Water Quality Grants and Project Catalyst.

Traditional Owner groups are given the opportunity to contribute cultural knowledge to these programs, as well as to participate in, and learn from the broad range of expertise involved with their delivery.

Round 2

The second round of grants were allocated in July 2015 to four Traditional Owner Groups.

Cairns’ Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation, Babinda’s Bunna Binda Aboriginal Corporation, Daintree’s Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC and Ingham’s Mungalla Aboriginal Corporation have successfully gained a total of $60,000 in grants.

Round 2 of the water quality grants will fund projects due for completion by 30 June 2016.

These grants build on the success of round 1 of the grants program that ran in 2014 and saw the funding of 8 projects totaling $255,400.

”There are really important places along rivers and creeks for us and clean healthy water is important to our mob for all fish. We have lots of stories about rivers and creeks on our Country. All this needs to be recognised and respected.” (Source: Aboriginal NRM Plan 2004)