The Burnett Mary region is the traditional country of a number of Aboriginal peoples – the Butchulla, Djaku-nde, Jangerie Jangerie, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang, Jinibara, Gubbi Gubbi, Kabi Kabi, Taribelang Bunda, Wakka Wakka, and Wulli Wulli. See interactive map.

The Aboriginal custodians of our region have strong and complex physical and spiritual connection to their traditional country.  The physical and cultural values of land and sea country are cultural resources essential to the wellbeing of these people.  Cultural resources include land, water, plants, animals, coastal and marine resources, totemic relationships and community relationships.  Traditional Owner knowledge, values and processes are culturally defined, extensive and can significantly contribute to the sustainable management of the region’s natural resources.

Indigenous cultural landscapes include natural features and human modified sites of significance.  To Aboriginal people these cultural landscapes convey a sense of place, cultural identity and tradition indicative of a long and complex relationship with the landscape.  Activities to protect and conserve cultural landscapes allow Traditional Owners to reaffirm their obligations to look after country.

Strategic Direction

Land and sea country values that focus the guardianship of Aboriginal people in the Burnett Mary region are widely acknowledged across the entire community.

2020 Target (Knowledge)

ACH1. The knowledge base of Aboriginal cultural heritage is documented and informs land and sea cultural management plans.

Desired Outcome

Traditional Owners, with support, have:

  • established a plan for the systematic gathering of existing cultural heritage information (e.g. landscapes, sites, pathways, ceremony, events, practices, language/ naming, bushfood and medicine)
  • assessed the current state of knowledge and past documentation of the cultural heritage of their traditional estates as it relates to NRM
  • identified the resources needed to effectively document cultural heritage knowledge and places
  • developed protocols for recording, storage, access to, and use of their own cultural intellectual property (IP) of traditional custodians
  • identified opportunities for the training and employment of Traditional Owners to undertake documentation
  • recognition and respect for Indigenous IP in the broader regional community through the production and distribution of information materials
  • identified opportunities for partnerships with agencies to incorporate Indigenous community based Natural and Cultural Heritage Management Plans
  • documented traditional ecological knowledge and cultural values and its application to better inform wider NRM.

2020 Target (On-ground actions)

ACH2. Traditional Owners undertake on-ground assessment, protection and management of areas of cultural significance.

Desired Outcome

Culturally significant areas and cultural values requiring on-ground activity have been collectively prioritised by Traditional Owners to address impact from threats including climate change.

Traditional Owners undertake on-ground cultural site management activities.

2020 Target (Working relationships)

ACH3. Regional Councils, State Government agencies and other major land and sea management agencies recognise and respect cultural heritage values in statutory planning and NRM related processes, through measures that include developing effective working relationships with Traditional Owners.

Desired Outcome

Traditional Owners have established partnerships with all levels of government that result in:

  • documentation of the cultural landscape of their region
  • established local forums that facilitate incorporation of Aboriginal cultural landscape values in statutory planning initiatives
  • Traditional Owner, custodian-prioritised list of heritage management issues to address.

2020 Target (Recognition)

ACH4. The cultural values and caring for country aspirations of regional Aboriginal people are promoted by an increased number of the region’s educational, research, environmental, tourism and government organisations.

Desired Outcome

Educational institutions that facilitate and support:

  • development and delivery of teaching and curriculum materials and activities that promote Traditional Owner cultural values and caring for country aspirations
  • maintenance of cultural property through the establishment of centres (e.g. keeping places and resource centres)
  • partnerships that foster presentation of Indigenous cultural heritage in museums, interpretive centres and other facilities