Indigenous Protected Area Dedication Ceremony
The Ritharrngu, Ngandi, Ngalakgan, Warndarrang, Marra, Alawa and Nunggubuyu Traditional Owners celebrated the dedication of the South East Arnhem Land Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) at a ceremony at Namiliwiri Outstation near Ngukurr on 19 September.
The South East Arnhem Land IPA was dedicated by the Australian Government on 13 September 2016 over part of the Arnhem Land and Urapunga Aboriginal Land Trusts, following six years of extensive consultations and finalisation of the IPA Plan of Management.
The IPA covers an area of 18,199 square kilometres on the western edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and has now been added to the Australian Government National Reserve System in recognition of its outstanding (and ongoing) cultural significance and environmental values.
NLC Chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi, CEO Joe Morrison and other NLC staff joined the Traditional Owners, Yugul Mangi and Numbulwar Numburindi Rangers and project partners to celebrate the dedication at a ceremony at Namiliwiri Outstation.
The ceremony began with a bungul (dancing and singing), followed by a welcome to country by Nelson Hall (Traditional Owner for Namiliwiri) and speeches by Traditional Owners Cherry Daniels and Bobby Nunggumajbarr, Samuel Bush-Blanasi, Joe Morrison, Yugul Mangi Ranger Coordinator Winston Thompson, Senior Ranger Clarry Rogers, and Ms. Carita Davies from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The South East Arnhem Land IPA is managed under the leadership and guidance of an advisory committee of Traditional Owners, comprising representatives from each of the clan groups. The work of the Yugul Mangi and Numbulwar Numburindi Amalahgayag Inyung ranger groups is guided by the South East Arnhem Land IPA Plan of Management (2015-2020), and includes weed and feral animal control, fire management, sacred site protection, coastal patrols, ghost-net and marine debris removal and other priority land and sea management activities.