In September, the Fraser Island World Heritage Area Indigenous Advisory Committee (FIWHA-IAC) was awarded the prestigious Queensland Landcare Award for Indigenous Land Management for their Recognising & Recording K’Gari’s (Fraser Island) Cultural Heritage project.
Butchulla elder Lillian Burke is pictured on the RHS of the photo at the Awards ceremony held in Caloundra in September
The project was initiated by the Fraser Island World Heritage Area Indigenous Advisory Committee in 2012 and was delivered by the Butchulla people and Aboriginal Rangers of Fraser Island in conjunction with Fauna & Flora International Australia.
Through strong partnerships, the project provided training to the Butchulla community, leading to additional cultural heritage sites being located, including the highly significant Bogimbah Mission gravesites on this World Heritage listed property. Following their training, the Aboriginal Rangers delivered their own training to non-Indigenous Fraser Island Parks Rangers. The project has established closer ties between the Aboriginal Ranger team and Butchulla elders, and broader engagement and stewardship by the Butchulla community with forums, field trips and newsletters.
A highlight of the project was a two-day Youth Forum held on K’Gari with Butchulla elders, with several of the participants now aspiring to be archaeologists as well as to take an active role in the protection of cultural heritage in the future.
Butchulla elder, Indigenous Advisory Committee (and project Steering Committee) member, Lillian Burke was at the awards ceremony (attended by the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk) to accept the award on behalf of the project team and participants. The group automatically qualify for the National Landcare Awards to be held in Canberra in 2016.
FINIA send a huge vote of congratulations to all concerned and wish the Committee good luck for next year’s Awards.