Restoration practitioners have recognised Eastern Kuku Yalanji peoples’ cultural knowledge and enduring stewardship of Bubu (Country) in an historic meeting held north of the Daintree River.
Over two days, five restoration groups attended the Daintree Restoration Field Day earlier this month, co-hosted by Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation and the Wet Tropics Management Authority.
The charities will now work with Jabalbina and Traditional Custodians to identify shared ecological, social and cultural goals within the region.
“Culture still resides in this land,” Jabalbina CEO Josh Paterson said. “By working together, based on a platform of mutual respect and a shared desire for Reconciliation, we can develop new initiatives that will help Bama (Kuku Yalanji people) and Bubu heal in partnership with others.”
As part of the event, Jabalbina’s Indigenous rangers toured and heard about major restoration projects in the Daintree run by Climate Force, Rainforest Rescue and Rainforest 4 Foundation and Queensland Trust for Nature.
“We currently have three ranger bases and a nursery on Eastern Yalanji Country, supporting our rangers to deliver effective cultural and environmental management,” Mr Paterson said.
“Part of our growth is identifying new ways in which we can collaborate and yield positive social and ecological outcomes for Bama.”
The field day was co-hosted by Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation
In 2021, Eastern Kuku Yalanji peoples took formal ownership of over 160,000 hectares of Country, stretching from Mossman to Cooktown, including the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park.
Since then, Jabalbina’s On-Country program has highlighted the value of Aboriginal led land management within and adjacent to the World Heritage Area, the Authority’s Executive Director Scott Buchanan said.
“Jabalbina has proven it can launch and run successful new programs, started from scratch, that put the social, cultural and economic advancement of Bama first, while recognising the importance of Country,” Mr Buchanan said.
Representatives from the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, Douglas Shire Council, Terrain NRM, James Cook University, Mossman Botanic Gardens, Queensland Trust for Nature, Rainforest 4 Foundation, and other non-profit organisations participated in the Field Day.
Welcomes to Country were provided by Traditional Custodians Richard Burchill and Clive Sykes.
Kelvin Davies with Traditional Owners, Betty and Clive Sykes