[ASC-media] CRC Reef press release - Indigenous visions for shared management of sea country

Louise Goggin louise.goggin at crcreef.com
Thu Feb 3 18:35:11 EST 2005

CRC Reef Research Centre PRESS RELEASE


     4 February 2005 



Representatives from three Aboriginal groups in Queensland have shared
their vision for working with government agencies to manage their 'sea
country' in a new report published by CRC Reef. The report highlights
Traditional Owners' extensive knowledge of marine and coastal resource


The report compiles 'case studies' from Traditional Owners from Gooreng
Gooreng, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Ambiilmungu Ngarra Aboriginal
Corporation and Balkanu Cape York Development Agency.


"Our sea country is a great place, and a lot of people like to visit. We
want to make sure that we're working effectively with management
agencies to look after our sea country together," said Mr Philip Rist,
CEO of Girringun Aboriginal Corporation. 


The case study by Girringun focuses on tourism impacts in the
Hinchinbrook Channel and Cardwell area. One of the ways Girringun are
working with agencies to manage these impacts is through the Cardwell
Indigenous Ranger Unit, which is a partnership between Girringun,
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine
Park Authority. The case study also sets out Girringun's aspirations for
increasing collaboration in the future.


Mervyn Jukarn Johnson presented a case study on behalf of the Gooreng
Gooreng Traditional Owners. He documents Indigenous connections to
places throughout the Gooreng Gooreng coastal country in the
Bundaberg-Gladstone area, as well as his people's awareness of how water
quality and the coastal landscape have changed, and their strong
interest in sharing the management of their sea and coastal country with
government agencies. 


Ambiilmungu Ngarra Aboriginal Corporation and Balkanu Cape York
Development Agency wrote a case study together to provide a starting
point for discussion about shared management of land and sea country in
the Princess Charlotte Bay area. It explores the management issues that
are significant to the Traditional Owners of the area, including greater
involvement of Traditional Owners in land and sea management, the
potential for Aboriginal rangers, and protected areas for dugong and


"The case studies show that there are flexible ways to combine
Indigenous rights and responsibilities with government responsibilities.
The report suggests ways in which co-operative management partnerships
could develop and will be a starting point for discussions," said
Professor Helen Ross, from The University of Queensland whose team
compiled the case studies. 


Mr James Innes, Research and Monitoring Manager at The Great Barrier
Reef Marine Park Authority, who was also involved in the study, said the
Authority was keen to develop partnerships with Traditional Owners.
"We're very glad to be part of work like this, and to assist Traditional
Owners to develop Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreements for the
sustainable management of their sea country," he said.


The report, "Traditional Owner aspirations towards co-operative
management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: community case
studies" edited by Ross et al, CRC Reef Technical Report No. 56 is
available from the CRC Reef website at


Video footage of Girringun's Cardwell Indigenous Ranger Unit working on
their sea country is available (contact Chloe Lucas on 0408 884521) 


For more information contact: 

Phil Rist, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation 0408 741 075 available for
interview 4 Feb 11.00-11.30am at CRC Reef offices, 6th floor, 280
Flinders St, Townsville.

Professor Helen Ross, The University of Queensland. Phone 0408 195 324,
hross at uqg.uq.edu.au <mailto:hross at uqg.uq.edu.au>   

Mr James Innes, GBRMPA. Phone 07 47500 748, j.innes at gbrmpa.gov.au
<mailto:j.innes at gbrmpa.gov.au>  

Ms Chloe Lucas, CRC Reef Media Liaison. Phone 07 4729 8450 or 0408 884
521, chloe.lucas at crcreef.com 


CRC Reef Research Centre Ltd is a joint venture between the Association
of Marine Park Tourism Operators, Australian Institute of Marine
Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Great Barrier Reef
Research Foundation, James Cook University, Queensland Department of
Primary Industries & Fisheries, Queensland Seafood Industry Association
and Sunfish Queensland Inc. The University of Queensland is an associate
member. It was established and is supported under Australia's
Cooperative Research Centres Program. 


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