Stories in this Theme

Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation and Kaanju Traditional Owners living on homelands at Chuulangun are working on an on-going Ethno-ecology project with the assistance of ethno-botanist Nick Smith. This project supports a multi-disciplinary approach to the transfer, maintenance and application of local scientific knowledge. The project's main aims are:

Fire is one of the few tools available to pastoral managers on Cape York Peninsula and substantial sums are spent establishing and maintaining firebreaks through the dry season. Without breaks fire can remove fodder, destroy infrastructure and, under some circumstances, induce thickening of the vegetation and loss of biodiversity.

Low Lake is a very large native lagoon within Lakefield National Park, Cape York, which is a special, shared story place belonging to the Lama Lama and Kuku-Thaypan people. The site's perimeter outlined the boundaries to the clans and was a special ceremony area for men to dance. According to traditional laws, you cannot break or take any resources, nor can you throw rocks in the water or take any fish from the lagoon. The area was also strictly forbidden from living activity and was used for ceremony for thousands of generations.

This project aims to enable Kaanju people to develop an integrated and strategic approach to the management of weeds on traditional homelands. Primarily, it seeks resources to develop innovative research methodologies that support on-country consultation to determine cultural priorities for weed management on a clan basis for Kaanju homelands. The project will develop innovative approaches to pest species management that can be used as a model for clan-based weed management in areas outside Kaanju homelands in Cape York Peninsula.

In November 2002, with the assistance of Balkanu Business Hubs, the Chuulangun community developed a tourism business plan, Chuulangun Traditional Aboriginal Camp Ground Proposal. It is proposed that for a fee the following will be provided:

Discusses options for development of forestry for socio-economic benefits for Wik people on Cape York Peninsula

Venn T.J. (2004) "Visions and Realities for a Wik Forestry Industry on Cape York Peninsula, Australia" Small-scale Forest Economics, Management and Policy, 3, pp.421-451.

“Places were open plains and are now encroached with thickening. They increase every year. Now we can’t look up the plain areas. It is not a plain anymore- it has now thickened up”

This paper outlines efforts by Kaanju families to develop a comprehensive framework for the management of traditional lands and their associated resources on Kaanju homelands.

Traditional fire management is being practiced in Cape York’s Lakefield National Park for the first time in decades. The Kuku Thaypan Traditional Knowledge Recording Project (TKRP) has enabled traditional owners to re-introduce therapeutic burning regimes, whilst documenting the bush wisdom that underpins these practices. The involvement of a JCU Doctorate of Philosophy in Environmental Science student is bringing the assets of contemporary scientific analysis to the process.

Low intensity cattle grazing is the dominant land-use across the tropical savannas of northern Australia. The
‘undeveloped’ nature of the north has fostered the perception that our tropical savannas are relatively intact.
However, evidence of widespread collapse of key faunal groups continues to accumulate.