For Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan people the Mawonga Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) is a significant part of their traditional Ngurrampaa (Country).
In the past Mawonga was an important place for ceremony, part of a young novice's journey through initiation, for hunting, family and clan interaction. Today it continues to be an important place for teaching, learning and connection.
Regular cultural camps are held to support the reclamation and passing on of cultural knowledge – strengthening the Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan people's connection with ngurrampaa.
Rock shelter on Mawonga country. Photo Lawrence Clarke.
Mawonga Station protects significant cultural and natural heritage and adjoins both the Yathong and Nombinnie Nature Reserves. In combination this represents one of the largest reserves of mallee in NSW (over 190,000ha). Mawonga is also located in the Cobar Peneplain bioregion – a landscape that's under-represented in Australia's National Reserve System.
Mawonga's large areas of old-growth mallee are home to the nationally vulnerable Malleefowl, and the large areas of woodland support threatened woodland dependant birds such as the Grey-crowned Babbler and Hooded Robin.
It has numerous small caves, rock shelters and art sites that are a physical reminder to Ngiyampaa people of how their relatives and ancestors lived and travelled.
Inspecting a mallee fowl nest during a fauna survey on Mawonga country. Photo Lawrence Clarke.
In 2009, the Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan Traditional Owners, through their representative organisation the Winangakirri Aboriginal Corporation, had Mawonga purchased on their behalf with funds from both the Commonwealth Government National Reserve System program and the Indigenous Land Corporation.
A handback ceremony was held in 2015 and a management plan was developed, allowing Mawonga to be eligible to apply for and eventually be declared an IPA in 2021.
The Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan Traditional Owners have worked on ecological monitoring and cultural heritage surveys, upgrading the infrastructure, harvesting goats to reduce their impact and training programs to support community members in managing country.
Mawonga is now a self-sufficient base at which the community can hold cultural camps, meetings and training workshops.
Malleefowl. Photo Sharon Gillam.
They're working in partnership with a range of organisations to manage the land, including re-introducing a traditional burning program that focuses on the health of Malleefowl habitat.
Bush Heritage has worked with Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan people to help realise their vision for country for more than a decade.
We're proud to have helped facilitate the property acquisition, and to have helped with the development of the Mawonga IPA Management plan.
We acknowledge and celebrate the significant contributions Ngiyampaa people make in looking after country and conserving Australia's biodiversity!