Looking after Country Grants recipients announced

Seven First Nations communities will share in $500,000 of funding as part of a Palaszczuk Government initiative to help facilitate cultural and heritage projects.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch announced the successful Looking After Country grants recipients while in Cairns to attend the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger conference today.

“The program will award up to $75,000 for projects across the state including Barcaldine, Yarrabah, Boulia, St George and Cape York locations with grants supporting projects which conserve environmental and cultural resources on country,” Minister Enoch said.

“Importantly this program supports jobs, with 14 positions identified across the projects including Senior Traditional Owner Ranger, Senior Ranger and Project Manager.”

“We are not just supporting jobs, we are investing in the jobs of the future.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Looking After Country grants support the community in preserving our cultural heritage with the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation from the Cook electorate receiving $75,000 for a cultural mapping project.

“Kalpowar Traditional Owners will identify and record rock art and cultural heritage sites using a methodology combining traditional knowledge and modern technology.

“The project provides an opportunity for young First Nations people to develop their skills in cultural heritage management and Traditional Owner plans to utilise the results as tools to impart their knowledge to the next generation,” Ms Lui said.

The Northern Gulf Resource Management Group received $75,000 for the Tagalaka Reading the Country for Future generations.

Tagalka elder Gladys Callope thanked the Palaszczuk Government for the funding and said it will be used to produce a five-year working on country plan to address threats to country and develop future partnerships for work on country.

“Tagalaka people will be employed as casual rangers to conduct cultural site monitoring at identified sites, assist in feral animal and weed control on country and undertake junior ranger activities,” Ms Callope said.

“This project is looking at fauna studies and cultural site investigations at Littleton National Parks and is hosted by Northern Gulf Resource Management Group.

“It was a proud day to see the Tagalaka Rangers working on country and that is a dream thirty years in the making.”

The Yambangku Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development Aboriginal Corporation will use its grant of $74,500 so Traditional Owners can partner with the University of Queensland to undertake investigations and record rock art at Gracevale in order to revitalise cultural connections, practices and songlines with other traditional groups across the country.

The Dirringhi Aboriginal Corporation is set to receive nearly $50,000 which will assist with a project to restore the existing diminished bushland habitat on a property it manages which borders a Papilio Ulysses butterfly sanctuary.

Minister Enoch announced that the 2020-21 Looking After Country grants program will be open for submissions on March 19.

“I encourage First Nations groups to apply for a grant to support their land and sea management programs,” Ms Enoch said.

Other successful projects from the 2019-20 program are:

  • Northern Gulf Resource Management Group – $75,000 to the Tagalaka Reading the Country for Future generation. Northern Gulf and Tagalaka will produce a five-year working on country plan to address threats to country and develop future partnerships for work on country. Tagalaka people will be employed as casual rangers and conduct cultural site monitoring at identified sites, assist in feral animal and weed control on country and undertake junior ranger activities.
  • Cultural Conservation and Knowledge Transfer on Wangkamadla Country – $72,600 for the Wangkamadla people to be actively involved in the planning and management of their country. It will involve delivery of two on-country cultural camps and a bush tucker workshop; teaching language and right-way science to record knowledge of cultural sites. It will also involve strategic planning workshops with Bush Heritage staff about future management of the properties and the developments of interpretive materials. The project will include construction of an exclusion fence to protect an important cultural waterhole from stock, feral animal, and human activity.
  • Kooma Traditional Owners Association – $74,050 for a project to deliver conservation of what appears to be, from the state registry, the only remaining mortuary/burial tree in Queensland. It will protect rare and important cultural heritage through recovery of skeletal remains, age sampling, relocation (to a location determined by a Kooma management committee) and conservation of the tree and replacement of skeletal remains.
  • Moompa-Awu Aboriginal Corporation (MAAC) – $75,000 for a project to support the collection and recording of cultural heritage from elders on country, on the Indigenous held Merepah Station. It will provide training in cultural heritage record collection and keeping techniques and short-term employment for Traditional Owners. It will inform the development of a cultural heritage continuity plan and undertake any required cultural heritage protection works.

More about the successful projects are available at www.des.qld.gov.au

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