Left Jim Gaston (Juru) , with Trevor Robinson (Bidjara)

Traditional Owner Management Group tackles NRM issues

Representatives from 12 indigenous groups within the Burdekin Dry Tropics region met earlier this month in Townsville to discuss conservation and land management issues.

Facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics, the Traditional Owner Management Group (TOMG) meeting provided a platform for members of different groups to connect and share ideas, knowledge and resources.  

NQ Dry Tropics Senior Project Officer Ian Sinclair said that meaningful Traditional Owner involvement led to better, more sustainable natural resource management (NRM) outcomes.

For more than 15 years NQ Dry Tropics has facilitated the TOMG, which provides guidance on cultural heritage and traditional ecological knowledge,” Mr Sinclair said

“The meetings support better collaboration, enabling us to identify where and how we can work jointly on projects,” he said.

Senior Project Officer Ian Sinclair (NQ Dry Tropics) with Brenton Creed (Wulgurukaba)

Reg Kerr (Gudjal) with Sheryl Wake (Gia)

NQ Dry Tropics team members updated the group on current and new projects, with discussions focussing on opportunities for indigenous participation, as well as wider cultural heritage issues.

Josephine Smallwood (Jagalingou) said Traditional Owner Management Group meetings were important and relevant to the work carried out by each group represented.

“I value the genuine and open communication at these meetings, which are conducted in a culturally-safe environment,” Ms Smallwood said.

The Traditional Owner Management Group meetings are supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Eddie Smallwood (Bindal), with Donna Turner, Manager, Strategy & Partnerships, NQ Dry Tropics

Rob Hunt (NQ Dry Tropics) with Richard Hoolihan (Gugu Bahdun)

Acting Protecting Biodiversity Team Leader Rachael Payne