Supporting Traditional Owners
DE-COLONISING CONSERVATION: For reasons of decency, social justice and practical achievement the conservation work across Gondwana Link must play a significant role in building a post-colonial Australia, where Traditional Owners lead significant conservation programs and are beneficiaries of those programs.
The country that the Gondwana Link program works in and for encompasses the traditional lands of the Noongar, Ngadju and Wongi people. Native Title over significant public land areas has been recognised in recent years, and more recognition is likely. This restores some rights to the traditional owners, and gives them the opportunity to return to their roles as managers of their land.
We have worked closely with Aboriginal people throughout the Gondwana Link. Specific strategies include:
Encouraging groups and other property owners to provide access to their properties available for cultural purposes.
Strengthening cultural exchange and cross cultural learning, with our standout success so far being the establishment of the Nowanup Bush University.
- Developing and supporting groups to establish themselves as land managers, with conservation plan and Ranger Teams in place. Key examples include:
- the Indigenous Protected Area being declared over 4.4 million ha of Ngadju lands, and managed by the Ngadju Ranger Team in the Great Western Woodlands (article).
- Nowanup Ranger Team, which undertakes a range of work including cultural mapping (YouTube).
- Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation have developed their healthy Country Plan.