Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Protection/Conservation of Registered Badimia Cultural Sites
Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, run by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) hosts multiple cultural sites of significance for Badimia people on the land they occupy.
Through working with AWC, the BBBAC received funding from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage through the Aboriginal Heritage site protections grant program to work on registered Aboriginal sites at Kunturu (restricted access), Beanthiny Rock and Red Hands which are located on Mt Gibson Sanctuary.
There were also sites identified on Charles Darwin Reserve, at Pidgeon Rock and a section of Mongers Lake.
Badimia Rangers who were stationed at Mt Gibson have supported work at these sites over the last couple of years.
These site protection and conservation projects were significant, and needed to negotiate the expected challenges of access to resources and skilled contractor availability, navigating weather conditions and access to key sites - let alone the unexpected issue of COVID!
Once again however, Badimia persistence has paid off with a series of works at the multiple sites coming to completion, with very good work done by Badimia men and women.
Photo above shows a standing shelter at a site near Mongers Lake, on Charles Darwin Reserve.
Photos above present work in stages on the Mara Binma (Red Hands) site, and the final structure which is a viewing platform to reduce erosion from visitors accessing the area, and an interpretive sign which will tell the story of the site.
BBBAC expect to take the experience gained from undertaking projects like these ones on barna, to evaluate the positive outcomes and challenges met to get here to build a strong, sustainable model for cultural sites business. This includes starting with consulting our Badimia people, on where the priorities for site protection and conservation are on Badimia barna, for our Ancestors and future generations.
When reviewing the cultural site protection and conservation work with AWC at Mt Gibson, and Bush Heritage on Charles Darwin Reserve, the BBBAC have noted alignments with their Strategic Plan and Healthy Country Plan. Below is a brief snapshot of their journey so far.
Badimia Elders, Directors and Members have demonstrated good governance through commitment to the project and partnerships and evaluating how the project is done and ensured a strong Badimia voice in asserting an interest in barna and sharing the Badimia story and cultural knowledge. There was also an opportunity to support jobs and business development towards sustainability by encouraging the work done by young Badimia men who currently operate a business in the construction industry, and were able to build structures onsite.
All of this work is for strong Badimia kids, as protecting and preserving important cultural sites and stories will remind them of how important they are as Aboriginal people, and how proud they can be to come from the Badimia culture!
This project supports the Healthy Country targets of Badimia culture and cultural places and Badimia people, by having Elders on site when out on barna and discussing site and land management. An aspect of land management relates to the healthy barna target of protection for hills, breakaways and rocky outcrops from erosion that can occur with many people and vehicles accessing certain areas
The cultural Badimia site protection and conservation projects support healthy country and culture and has strong links to the Healthy Country Plan.