Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Land and Sea Plan for Traditional Owners of Shark Bay

[October 2014]

Rangelands NRM are engaged with a local Aboriginal group from Shark Bay to deliver a Land and Sea Country Management Plan for the traditional owners of Shark Bay, the Malgana People.

The Malgana people are currently spread over the state and return home for working group and community meetings associated with Native Title. Shark Bay is home to the Yadgalah Aboriginal Corporation, which has been incorporated since 1984 and whose membership represents the local Aboriginal People and Community Members in the township of Denham.

Yadgalah Aboriginal Corporation members approached Rangelands NRM to support the planning concept and to engage with the various agencies in the region.

Rangelands NRM Indigenous NRM Projects Manager Bevan Gray said to assist in this important project, Rangelands NRM engaged the services of Big Island Research P/L to coordinate the planning activities, run workshops and field days as well as produce a plan for the region.

“Big Island have previously worked with the people of Shark Bay having engaged with the community on a ‘Customary Fisheries’ survey in 2010 and see this plan as a necessary step forward from those discussions,” Mr Gray said.

Yadgalah have strong ties with all forms of government and Shark Bay is well serviced by organisations such as the Shire of Shark Bay, World Heritage Australia as well as the Departments of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fisheries and department of Transport.

“Rangelands NRM looks forward to bringing them together to ensure a plan is delivered that complement the existing planning those agencies have in place,” Mr Gray said.

Many of the plans support enterprise development for the Malgana people and it is anticipated that the land and sea country management plan will provide a way forward to enable this to happen.

Mr Gray said the plan has been named œGutharraguda Land & Sea Country Management Plan in honour of the Malgana name for Shark Bay.

So far, Big Island Research has completed two workshops and another is planned for late October 2014.

“One of the outcomes of this project will be to create a pathway to permanent employment and for sustainable enterprise development for Malgana People in natural resource management,” Mr Gray said.

A strong management plan will enable future generations of Malgana to continue their long tradition of land and sea management and it is anticipated that opportunities for young Malgana in the fields of science and scientific research will evolve over time.

“Great opportunities lay ahead,” he said.

For more information, contact Bevan Gray, Rangelands NRM, Phone 08 9964 8245.

Image: Jetty (©Laurence Hilary)