Adapted from Ross 2014 – K’gari Values
Fraser Island World Heritage Area is recognised for geological and geomorphic values of island formation and for biological processes relating to rainforest succession on high dunes. World Heritage Area listing did not extend to Aboriginal heritage significance, despite the acknowledged tangible and intangible cultural values of Fraser Island (known to Butchulla Traditional Owners as K’gari) in the form of campsites, scarred trees, shell middens, story places and the Indigenous knowledge of landscape and species management. Nevertheless, management of K’gari can and does take Butchulla knowledge into account.
The Fraser Island World Heritage Area managers are formally advised by three Advisory Committees: the Fraser Island World Heritage Area Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC). These committees help ensure that a range of values, including Aboriginal heritage values, are reviewed, and where deemed appropriate, taken into account by managers. For example, in 2014, Butchulla concerns regarding the proposed management of Takky Wooroo (Indian Head) were aired at a combined Advisory Committee meeting, and managers responded by agreeing to seek further information from Butchulla knowledge holders before proceeding with planning proposals.
The three Advisory Committees thus have an opportunity to ensure that the full range of values of K’gari are considered for incorporation into management planning for this World Heritage place, despite the formal limitations of listing. It is imperative that the Advisory Committees are continued into the future, with appropriate levels of government funding and support.
Anne Ross’s full article, ‘Managing Values Other than Outstanding Universal Value—A case study from K’gari (Fraser Island World Heritage Area), Queensland, Australia’, originally published in Historic Environment, 26(2), 2014, can be found here: Ross 2014 – K’gari Values (pdf)