Traditional Owners of Bon Bon Station
Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara Elders Emily Austin and Lois Brown. Photo by Sarah Eccles
Bon Bon Station Reserve is the country of the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people. Their country includes the Coober Pedy region and Bon Bon, covering over 78, 672 sq km to the north of Port Augusta.
The Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people have a strong connection to their country, through their traditional Aboriginal law, their Tjukurpa and their associated customs. Tjukurpa refers to the creation period when ancestral beings, Tjukaritja, created the world as we know it now. It's also the law for relationships between people, plants, animals and the land. It's the past, the present and the future.
For many years Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people have fought to have their rights, interests and responsibilities for country acknowledged and allowed to continue.
Finally in May 2011, non-exclusive native title rights and interests to hunt, fish, live, camp, gather and use the natural resources, undertake cultural activities and protect places of cultural significance were recognised. The representative organisation for Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people to exercise Native Title rights is the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal Corporation.
Members of the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara during a visit to Bon Bon Station. Photo by Sarah Eccles
Bush Heritage has been developing a relationship with Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara Traditional Owners, to recognise and respect their connection and rights to country and is working towards a collaborative management arrangement for Bon Bon. In March 2014, 22 Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara Traditional Owners returned to Bon Bon for three days. This provided the opportunity to share stories and build understanding about each other's interests in looking after country.
We're working together in surveying and protecting culturally significant places on Bon Bon and developing an Indigenous Land Use Agreement, an operational agreement that sets out the ongoing relationship between us, how we work together in managing country and how Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people will exercise their native title rights.