Aboriginal partnerships

Aboriginal Australians have lived on the land for millennia, developing a strong commitment to look after it, as well as accumulating generations of traditional knowledge about the ecology.

Whenever we buy land we seek to engage with the Traditional Owners to ensure they maintain access and a connection to Country. We value their insight, cultural perspective and collaboration.

We also invest in partnering with Aboriginal groups who are themselves landowners – often of vast estates.

We help with developing and implementing Healthy Country Plans that seek to achieve conservation goals while creating jobs and livelihood on Country.

This kind of approach has broken new ground. Our 10-year agreement with the Wunambal Gaambera people was the first long-term conservation partnership of its kind in Australia. Since then many have followed.

Arafura Partnership

Established: 2014
Partnership area: 1.2 million hectares / 12,000 km²
Location: Arnhem Land, 450 km east of Darwin, 230 km east of Jabiru

Gurruwiling (Arafura Swamp) is the largest freshwater ecosystem in Arnhem Land. The swamp, as well as the surrounding land and sea, is cared for by the Arafura Swamp Rangers Aboriginal Corporation (ASRAC). We support the implementation of ASRAC’s Healthy Country Plan through facilitating an Indigenous-led monitoring and evaluation plan, and supporting governance arrangements, strengthening connections between the management of ASRAC and the Traditional Owners of the country.

Birriliburu Partnership

Map of Birriliburu location

Established: 2011
Partnership area: 6.6 million hectares / 16,000 km²
Location: 900 km north-east of Perth, 500 km south-east of Port Hedland

The Birriliburu Indigenous Protected Area covers a section of the Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts that's roughly the size of Tasmania. Traditional Owners are the Martu people, whose ranger program employs locals from Wiluna and surrounds.

Bunuba Partnership

Map of Bunuba location

Established: 2014
Partnership area: 650,000 hectares / 6,500 km²
Location: Central-west Kimberley, north of Fitzroy Crossing

Bunuba Country includes Giekie Gorge, Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge National Parks. Their Native Title rights were recognised in 2012 and we're working with the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation on their Healthy Country Plan.

Karajarri Partnership

Map of Karajarri location

Established: 2019
Partnership area: 2.1 million hectares
Location: South-west Kimberley, 190km south of Broome

Known as the gateway to the Kimberley, Karajarri Country comprises Jurarr (coastal country) with brilliant blue waters dotted with mangroves and sandy white beaches, and Pirra (inland country), characterised by sparse vegetation and red dunes of the Great Sandy Desert. Supporting more Karajarri women, particularly young women, to work on country is the main focus of our partnership.

Mawonga Partnership

Map of Mawonga location

Established: 2009
Partnership area: 22,350 hectares / 223 km²
Location: Central-west NSW, 290km west of Dubbo

For Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan people Mawonga Station is a significant part of their traditional Country. Through the Winangakirri Aboriginal Corporation, Mawonga was purchased on their behalf with funds from the Commonwealth Government National Reserve System program and the Indigenous Land Corporation. We've helped with the property purchase, ecological assessments and their management plan.

Mimal Partnership

Map of Mimal location

Established: 2016
Partnership area: 1.9 million hectares
Location: 250km east of Katherine

Mimal Country abutts the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) to the north-west and the Gurruwiling (Arafura Swamp) region to the north-east. Combined these create significant connectivity, extending west to include Kakadu and Nitmiluk National Parks and the Djelk IPA to the north. Our role has been to help implement the Healthy Country Plan, focusing on the protection and rehabilitation of important freshwater resources to strengthen cultural connections to country, and support local knowledge with the recording of stories associated with these important places.

Olkola Partnership

Map of Olkola location

Established: 2014
Partnership area: 869,822 hectares
Location: Cape York, 300 km north-west of Cairns, Queensland

Olkola Country encompasses a diversity of habitats including important wetlands, riparian zones and open woodlands. Its healthy woodlands and grasslands are the largest remaining stronghold for the endangered Golden-shouldered Parrot (Alwal) – an important totemic species. We supported the development of Olkola's ten-year strategic Healthy Country Plan and continue to work together on a long-term project to protect Alwal, supporting Olkola to lead the National Recovery Team.

Waanyi Garawa

Map of Waanyi Garawa location

Location: Gulf of Carpentaria

We have an emerging partnership with the peoples of Waanyi Garawa, supporting an annual culture camp and wildlife survey since 2016 to help people reconnect with their country. In partnership with the Northern Land Council, we also supported a first Healthy Country Planning Workshop at Robinson River in 2019, towards developing their Healthy Country Plan and establishing a working group.

Warddeken Partnership

Map of Warrdeken location

Established: 2007
Partnership area: 1.4 million hectares / 14,000 km²
Location: Arnhem Land, 230 km east of Darwin, 30 km east of Jabiru

We continue to provide core funding to support implementing the Plan of Management (2016-2020) and annual scope of works. This includes critical co-ordination and operational support for Warddeken’s extensive monitoring program with 120 sites across this ecologically diverse and culturally significant stone country region, rich in cultural heritage.

Wunambal Gaambera Partnership

Map of Wunambal Gaambera location

Established: 2011
Partnership area: 760,000 hectares / 7,600 km² (Uunguu Indigenous Protected Area, stages 1 and 2)
Location: North-west Kimberley, 600 km north-east of Derby

The land and waters of the Wunambal Gaambera covers an incredible 2.5 million hectares of white sandy beaches, rocky escarpments and rugged gorges. We've helped create a Healthy Country Plan and support works on the ground.