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Appendix One: Outline of Research Meetings and Contacts


06/09/2011 Telephone interview with Karen Dayman, ex-Coordinator of FitzCam.

06/09/2011 Telephone interview with Rodney Whitfield CEO of Kowanyama Native Title PBC.

11/10/2011 Telephone interview with Sue Jackson, CSIRO.

17/10/2011 Telephone discussion Viv Sinnamon, Manager, Kowanyama Land Office.

18/10/2011 Further telephone interview Karen Dayman, ex-Coordinator FitzCam.

20-21/10/2011 Field visit Kowanyama via Cairns. Interviews with Rodney Whitfield, Viv Sinnamom, also present Teddy Bernard Chair native title PBC.

24/10/2011 Meeting Darwin with Tristan Simpson NAILSMA.

26-27/10/2011 Telephone discussion with Ari Gorring Kimberley Land Council. Meetings at Fitzroy Crossing with ex-FitzCam members Mary Aitken, Mervyn Street. Background briefing Kathryn Thorburn.

08/11/2011 Telephone interview with Mona Liddy, Chair, Daly River Aboriginal Reference Group.

18/11/2011 Contacted Richard Jenkins, Balkanu. Brief discussion of relationship of Balkanu to local ranger groups. Arrangement to meet in Cairns after Christmas.

29/11/2011 Meeting with Malak Malak ranger group at Wooliana (Daly River via Darwin).

17/01/2012 Telephone interview Ron Archer, Northern Gulf Indigenous Savannah Group (Qld).

18/01/2012 Telephone interview Aaron Crosby, ex-Finance Officer Kowanyama Land Office.

20/01/2012 Meeting in Canberra with Kate Golson, Environs Kimberley. Discussed FitzCam.

01/02/2012 Meeting in Darwin with members of Daly River Aboriginal Reference Group, Mona Liddy Chair.

02/02/2012 Meeting in Darwin with Justine Yanner, Manager Northern Land Council Land and Sea Management Unit.

10/02/2012 Telephone interview with May Rosas, member Daly River Aboriginal Reference Group.

08/03/2012 Telephone interview with Hugh Wallace-Smith, first co-ordinator of FitzCam influential in establishing group, ex-Kimberley Land Council employee. Also discussed Yirriman youth project.

14/03/2012 Telephone interview Ari Gorring, Manager Land and Sea Unit Kimberley Land Council.

11/04/2012 Meeting with Sandra VanVreeswyk and Chris Ham, Department Agriculture and Food WA, Broome.

11/04/2012 Meeting with Sharon Ferguson, Department of Environment and Conservation WA, Broome.

11/04/2012 Meeting with Joe Ross, Chair Northern Task Force, Broome and Fitzroy Crossing.

12/04/2012 Meetings with Mary Aiken (Bunaba), Keith Anderson (Jubilee Downs), Jimmy Shandley and Joy Nuggett (Guniyandi).

13/04/2012 Meetings with Lillian Chestnut (FitzCam project officer), Guniyandi rangers steering committee, Phillip Hams (Go Go station) Fitzroy Crossing.



Appendix Two: Research Outline Distributed


Whole of Government, Water Catchment Management Groups and Indigenous Livelihoods

Research project North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

aiatsis logo2003.jpg

This project has been contracted to AIATSIS by NAILSMA. It is funded by the Commonwealth government’s Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment (NAWFA). It will be carried out by Dr. Patrick Sullivan. Patrick Sullivan is an anthropologist who has worked on land issues with Aboriginal people, mainly in Western Australia, for nearly thirty years. He will be holding meetings with catchment management groups, Aboriginal reference groups and native title PBCs at Kowanyama (Mitchell river catchment), Daly River (Daly river catchment, sites to be confirmed) and Fitzroy Crossing (Fitzroy river catchment).

This research will ask questions about current government programs for assisting local Aboriginal people to manage land and water in their regions. It will particularly focus on their ability to gain a livelihood from land and water, both in the sense of their economic use of land and water, and also through employment opportunities in environmental management.

The project will produce a report for NAILSMA and the participants that:



  • Describes the representative groups and networks for environmental management in the catchment or locality

  • Assesses the current ability of these representative groups and networks to actively manage land and water, influence policy, and control development

  • Assesses relevant government agencies and their ability to work together, and suggests improvements in their processes

The project will focus on how well local governments, state governments and the Commonwealth government cooperate together to assist, encourage and support local self-management. If these three levels of government are not working well with the catchment management groups the project will try to understand why. At the end of the project recommendations will be made about how cooperation can be improved and how sustainable employment opportunities can be supported.

For more information contact: Patrick Sullivan, AIATSIS, GPO Box 553, Canberra, ACT 2601. Tel: 02 6246 1104 Email: Patrick.Sullivan@aiatsis.gov.au


Part Two: Project Catchment Profiles and Literature Review



Claire Stacey

Senior Project Officer AIATSIS

Project Catchment Profiles



Kowanyama and the Mitchell River Catchment Area



Introduction

See Map 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
The Mitchell River catchment area spans a distance of approximately 72,000 km² covering the base of the Cape York Peninsula, from the western coast on the Gulf of Carpentaria, with the eastern boundary ending on the edge of the Atherton Tablelands, as shown on Map 3 (MRWMG, 2011). Within this catchment region Kowanyama is the largest community, situated 25 kms inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria at the western base of the Cape York Peninsula. Kowanyama sits on the banks of Magnificent Creek, which joins with the South Mitchell River and then forms part of the Mitchell River delta, see Map 1 and 2 (Kowanyama Council, 2010: 11). The Mitchell River is the 13th largest river in Australia by area (estimated at 71,630 km²), however it has one of the highest river discharge volumes at 14m megalitres (CSIRO, 2009, in Sinnamon, 2011: 9), which has been compared to an undeveloped Murray Darling River system (DNRW, 2006, in Sinnamon, 2011: 9).

The population of Kowanyama is approximately 1,200 people (Qld govt, 2010), with other communities in the area such as Chillagoe, Mount Molloy, Mount Carbine and Dimbulah having populations of approximately between 100-300 people (ABS, 2006). However the Queensland governments Water Resource (Mitchell) Plan 2007 allocates a different boundary which does not include Dimbulah, see Map 4, therefore the exact profile of the catchment is dependent upon which boundary is applied.


The catchment region involves four local government jurisdictions: Cook Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council, Tablelands Regional Council (previously Mareeba Shire Council) and the Kowanyama Aboriginal Council.
Within the Kowanyama Aboriginal Council, the Kowanyama Aboriginal Land and Natural Resource Management Office (Lands Office) is the central point for land and sea management in the Kowanyama region. The Kowanyama region sits within two of the Federal government’s prescribed natural resource management regions, the Northern Gulf Resource Management Group and the Cape York Natural Resource Management Body, see Map 5 and 6 (Sinnamon, 2011: 10).
The Mitchell River Watershed Management Group Inc., is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in 1990 to promote “grass roots community engagement, capacity building, and sustainable and integrated management of the Mitchell River catchment area” (MRWMG, 2011).
Population

See Map 3 and 4.
Using the region defined by the Mitchell River Watershed Management Group, the Mitchell River Catchment region includes the towns of Kowanyama, Chillagoe, Mount Molloy, Mount Carbine and Dimbulah and approximately 50 other small outstations and communities (see Map 3 MRWRG, 2011). However, the Queensland governments Water Resource (Mitchell) Plan 2007 allocates a different boundary which does not include Dimbulah, one of the significant population centres in the region, therefore the exact profile of the catchment is dependent upon which boundary is applied.
The population within this region is dependent upon seasonal weather patterns and transience between the larger centres such as Cairns and the surrounding regions. It should also be noted that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are often underrepresented in census data due to the complexities of recording populations in remote regions.
Kowanyama is the largest town in the region with an estimated population in 2010 of 1,198 people (QLD govt, 2010). Dimbulah near the Atherton tablelands had a population of 381 in 2006, while the region surrounding Dimbulah had a population of 1,461. Using data from the 2006 Census based on the towns within the catchment region, a rough estimate of the population in the catchment region is 3,154, with an Indigenous population of 1,125.
Table 1: Population statistics for the Mitchell River Catchment area based on 2006 ABS Census data




Total population 2006

Indigenous population 2006

Kowanyama region

1,021


946

Chillagoe region

305

78

Mount Molloy region

276

10

Mount Carbine region

91

Unavailable

Dimbulah region

1,461

91

TOTAL

3,154

1,125

Source: ABS 2006 Census Quick Stats: Kowanyama (State Suburb); Chillagoe (State Suburb); Mount Molloy (State Suburb); Mount Carbine (State Suburb); Dimbulah (State Suburb).
Language Groups
For the Kowanyama community the language groups are the: Kokoberra, Yir Yoront (or Kokomnjen), Kunjen, Uw oykangand, and associated Olkola speaking groups (Kowanyama Council, 2011: 7-11).
For the broader region there are at least seven Indigenous language groups that exist, which have been incorporated into the formation of a Mitchell River Traditional Custodian Advisory Group (MRTCAG). The MRTCAG includes: Western Gugu Yalanji, Gugu Mini and Koko Mullarichee operating as one group, Mbabaram, Wokomin and Kuku Djungan.
Land Tenure

See Map 7, 8 and 9
Land tenure in the Mitchell River catchment area is composed of a variety of tenures, including pastoral leases, national parks, native title, crown land and private tenure, as shown on map 9. Within the Kowanyama Shire region, the Kowanyama Aboriginal Council holds a variety of land tenures. In 1987 the Kowanyama Aboriginal Council was transferred control of the Mitchell River Mission and Reserve from the State of Queensland under a Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT). In 1992 two pastoral leases were purchased, Oriners and Sefton, taking the area of land under the DOGIT to approximately 4,120 km² (Council Annual Report, 2010, p. 12). These lands, along with the Errk Oykangand National Park, are referred to as the Kowanyama Aboriginal Lands (Sinnamon, 2011: 10).
Native Title

The Kowanyama people are pursuing native title rights in a three staged process over a claim area covering 19,800 km²; see Map 7, which is comprised of three areas, Part A, Part B and Part C. In 2009 native title was determined over Part A (Kowanyama People v State of Queensland, 2009) for a region of 2,518 km² within the original DOGIT, but excluding the town area (ATNS, 2011). Native title Rights in Kowanyama are held under the registered native title body corporate (RNTBC), also known as a Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC), Abm Elgoring Ambung Aboriginal Corporation. The lands under Part B and C of the claim include the Kowanyama township and Errk Oykangand National Park.


Joint Management

In 2009 the Errk Oykangand National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was signed (ATNS, 2011), establishing a joint management agreement between the Kowanyama people and the State of Queensland over the Errk Oykangand National Park (previously the Mitchell-Alice Rivers National Park), see Map 8. The land is now recognized as Aboriginal land under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld) and was granted to members of the Kowanyama Aboriginal Land Trust. The use and management of the land is governed by the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) (ATNS, 2011). This was made possible under the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 which amended the amended the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) to allow for a new class of protected area in Cape York known as “Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal land. These developments are the result of the Cape York Tenure Resolution Implementation Group, who negotiated the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 (Qld) and the return of over one million hectares of land to Traditional Owners (ATNS, 2011).


Local Government
The Mitchell River Catchment area sits within four local government regions: the Cook Shire, Carpentaria Shire Council, Tablelands Regional Council (previously Mareeba Shire Council) and the Kowanyama Aboriginal Council. All four regions are recognised as shires under the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld).

In 2005 the Kowanyama Aboriginal Council began the transition from an Aboriginal council under the Community Services (Aborigines) Act 1984 (Qld), to a shire under the Local Government (Community Government Areas) Act 2004 (Qld). The Community Governance Improvement Strategy was initiated to support governance capacity building within Aboriginal and Island councils in Queensland, with the objectives of:
improved human resource capacities; improved business performance and good governance; sustainability by increasing collaborative opportunities to improve council services; and more effective engagement with stakeholders including the community and government (DLGP,2010).
A study of Indigenous councils in Queensland found that some key disparities between Aboriginal councils and ‘mainstream’ councils. Aboriginal councils perform a range of functions compared with other local governments, due to the historical legacy of missions, the limited capacities of the non-Government sector and the limited capacities of the private sector (Limerick, 2010: 9). Additionally, as Aboriginal councils are predominantly situated on communally held Aboriginal lands, the councils are unable to raise rates within their jurisdictions, compared with the majority of local governments whose constituents are individual ratepayers holding privately owned land. To account for this disparity, the Queensland government funds Indigenous councils through grants under the State Government Financial Assessment scheme, and councils also receive Commonwealth government funding through Financial Assistance Grants. These grants could not solely support the Councils required functions however, and as a result councils seek funding through a State and Federal departments, private funding and any income that can be generated from enterprise (Limerick, 2010: 9).
The Kowanyama Aboriginal Council now faces new challenges under the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) with increased obligations for elected Members and operational staff, and adherence to the Public Services Act 2008 (Qld) (Council annual report, 2010: 5).
Government structures for environmental management
The Federal government is operating within the region through the Department of Sustainability, Water, Populations and Communities (SEWPAC) and their Working on Country program, as well as the Kowanyama Wetlands Technical Advisory Group. The CSIRO is also engaged in research partnerships with the Kowanyama Lands Office.
The Queensland government departments that are funding programs in the region include the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM), the Department of Communities, the Department of Health and Wild Rivers.
Community Involvement in Environmental Management
Community involvement in environmental management in the region largely occurs through the Kowanyama Land Office, as well as the Mitchell River Watershed Management Group and the Mitchell River Traditional Custodian Advisory Group. The Kowanyama Land Office has emerged from activism during the 1970s and 1980s and continues to engage broadly on a number of land management issues, including relationships with Native American colleagues in North America (Sinnamon, 2011: 20).
Additionally, the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation has a Caring for Country Business Unit which administers a range of land management related programs within the Cape York region.
Significant Reports
Connor, S., Sokolich, B., Hoogwerf, T., MacKenzie, J. and Butler, J., 2009. Mitchell River Catchment: regional perspective, in Northern Australia Land and Water Science Review: full report, Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO), Canberra.
CSIRO, 2009. Water in the Gulf of Carpentaria Drainage Division. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Northern Australia Northern Yields Project. Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, Australia, 479pp.
Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, 2010. Annual Report: 2009-2010, Kowanyama, Queensland.

Mitchell River Watershed Management Group, 2000. Mitchell River Watershed Management Plan: A strategic and cooperative approach to managing the Mitchell River Watershed for a sustainable future, Mareeba, Queensland.


Queensland Government, 2009. Water Resource (Mitchell) Plan 2007, Brisbane.
Sinnamon, V. 2011. Kowanyama: Bottom of the Watershed, Kowanyama Aboriginal Land and Natural Resources Management Office, Kowanyama.

Viv Sinnamon, Manager of the Kowanyama Aboriginal Land and Natural Resources Management Office, outlines the history of Indigenous land management in Kowanyama.



Maps

Map 1: Mitchell River Catchment Area

Source: Sinnamon, 2011: 18

Map 2: Water Resource (Mitchell) Plan: Plan Area Boundary

Source: Queensland Government

mitchell_catchment_stations-and-communities

Map 3: Mitchell River Catchment: Showing Towns, Stations and Aboriginal Communities, Main Roads and Waterways

Source: Mitchell River Water Management Group



Map 4: Water Resource (Mitchell) Plan, 2007: Schedule Area

Source: Queensland Government

northern gulf nrm region

Map 5: Northern Gulf Resource Management Group: Region Map

Source: Northern Gulf Resource Management Group



Map 6: Cape York Natural Resource Management Group: Region

Source: Caring for our Country: Cape York - Natural Resource Management region



Map 7: Kowanyama People Determination Area Part A

Source: National Native Title Tribunal



Map 8: Errk Oykangan Nationa Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land)

Source: Queensland Government

Map 9: Land tenure in the Mitchell River Catchment Area

Source: Mitchell River Watershed Management Plan

Fitzroy Crossing and the lower catchment region of the Fitzroy River

Introduction

See Map 1, 2 and 3.
The Fitzroy River catchment is located in the central Kimberley region of Western Australia, comprising about 23% of the Kimberley region, and is estimated to be an area of over 95,000 km² (CENRM, 2010: 12). Fitzroy Crossing and Derby are the two centres within the catchment region, with a number of smaller communities spread throughout the region. While Derby is the bigger centre of the two, the prime interests in river management emerge from Fitzroy Crossing – additionally a number of Indigenous organizations are based in Fitzroy.
The catchment falls within three shires: Shire of Wyndham / East Kimberley; Shire of Halls Creek; and Shire of Derby / West Kimberley.Rangelands Natural Resource Management is the federally prescribed NRM body for the region and in 2007 Rangelands funded the Fitzroy Catchment Management Project (FitzCam). FitzCam was commissioned by Rangelands under NHT funding to produce the Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan (CENRM, 2010: 6-8). The plan engaged with a number of Indigenous stakeholders and a working agreement was established between the Kimberley Land Council, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Kimberley Language Resource Centre, and Kimberley Aboriginal Pastoralists Incorporated.
Population

See Map 4.
There is an estimated population of approximately 7,000 people living within the region, with approximately 80% of the population identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ABS, 2007). It should also be noted that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are often underrepresented in census data due to the complexities of recording populations in remote regions.
Table 1: Population statistics for major towns in the Fitzroy River Catchment area based on 2006 ABS Census data




Total population 2006

Indigenous population 2006

Fitzroy Crossing

928


625

Derby

3,200

1,404

TOTAL

4,128

2,029

Source: ABS 2006 Census Quick Stats: Fitzroy Crossing (State Suburb); Derby (State Suburb).

Language Groups

See Map 5.
Within the catchment region there are a number of language groups, including: Bunuba, Kija, Walmajarri, Wankatjunka, Gooniyandi, Nyikina, Western Jaru, Mangala, Worrowa, Andajin and Ngaranyin (Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan, 2010).
Land Tenure

See Map 3, 4 and 6.
There are a range of tenures present within the catchment region, including pastoral leases, native title and conservation reserves. A number of native title determinations connected to the catchment region including Noonkanbah, which is entirely within the region, and other determinations such as Ngurrara, which overlap the border of the catchment region (see Map 4). There are also five registered applications for native title within the catchment region.
Local Government

See Map 1.
The catchment falls within three shires: Shire of Wyndham / East Kimberley; Shire of Halls Creek; and Shire of Derby / West Kimberley. The Shire of Derby / West Kimberley is the governing authority in the western part of the catchment region, while the Shire of Halls Creek is the governing authority for the eastern part of the catchment region.
Government structures for environmental management
Rangelands NRM has played a key role in environmental management of the Fitzroy River through the Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan. This incorporated relationships with a range of Commonwealth and State stakeholders, including: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC); the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA), who run programs facilitating pastoral diversification and Indigenous pastoral support program; Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), who are engaged in the joint management of Geikie Gorge national park; Department of Planning (Planning WA), who coordinate land-use in communities; and the Department of Water; Department of Fisheries.
Community Involvement in Environmental Management
The Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan engaged with a number of Indigenous stakeholders, and in May 2008, a working agreement was reached between Kimberley Land Council, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Kimberley Language Resource Centre, and Kimberley Aboriginal Pastoralists Incorporated. The outcomes of this working agreement informed the Kimberley Aboriginal Caring for Country Plan (Griffiths and Kinnane, 2010). The Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan endorsed the values expressed in the Caring for Country Plan.


  • Aboriginal people are committed to Caring for Country.

  • Aboriginal Knowledge must be maintained, protected and valued.

  • The transmission of language, cultural skills and practices from elders to younger generations is vital.

  • Improved collaboration requires appropriate consultation, engagement and communication processes.

  • Creating employment and building empowerment in businesses, especially on Country, is essential.

  • Recognising Aboriginal ownership of land and the need for people to be on Country is critical to achieving healthy Country and healthy people.

  • Language is a critical part of Aboriginal engagement with the landscape.

  • Aboriginal livelihoods and community capacity can be encouraged and empowered by Caring for Country.

  • Caring for Country has a vital role in building leadership and instilling cultural, political and social values in younger generations.

Other community organisations involved in environmental management include:




  • Northern Australian Indigenous Land and sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA);

  • Indigenous Water Policy Group (IWPG); and

  • Bunuba Inc.


Significant Reports
Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, 2010. Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan. The University of Western Australia, Nedlands.

The objective of the Fitzroy River Catchment Management plan is to development a management plan for future development of the catchment region that meets the needs of all stakeholders for maintaining the key values of the region, through community engagement and catchment planning.


Department of Water, 2009. Fitzroy Catchment subregion overview and future directions: Kimberley regional water plan and discussion paper, Department of Water, Perth.

This discussion paper provides a profile of the Fitzroy Catchment according to water use and management, people and groups and issues facing water management in the catchment. It drafts future directions and ways forward for water management, and forms part of the consultation process for the Department of Water’s regional planning activities.


Government Western Australian, 2009. Fitzroy Futures Town Plan, Government of Western Australia, Perth.
Griffiths, S. and Kinnane, S., 2010. Kimberley Aboriginal Caring for Country Plan – healthy country, healthy people, report prepared for the Kimberley Language Resource Centre, Halls Creek.

This report has emerged from research and consultation with Kimberley Aboriginal people and offers an extensive review of caring for country in the region. A range of key themes were developed based upon consultation with Traditional Owners during the project, summarising the central aspects of successful caring for country activities, namely: Access to Country; Right People, Right Country; Transmission of Law, Culture and Language on Country; Respect for Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Knowledge; Managing Country; Economic Opportunities on Country; Governance on Country (PBCs), Cultural Blocs and Regional Aboriginal Organisations; Information Management for Country; Partnerships for Caring for Country; and Protocols for Caring for Country. Within each theme the key issues, threats and pressures are identified, and the plan thus provides specific and in-depth evidence to support the connection between caring for country and broad reaching cultural, spiritual, social, political, environmental and economic benefits for the region. The value of this report is the practical findings and recommendations for achieving benefits from caring for country, based upon extensive research, offering invaluable information to support the holistic benefits of caring for country.


Western Australian Planning Commission, 2011. Bayulu Community Layout Plan 1 Amendment 1, prepared by the Department of Planning, Perth.

Maps



Map 1: Fitzroy catchment subregion

Source: Department of Water



Map 2: Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan: Fitzory River Catchment and subcatchments

Source: Fitzroy River Catchment Management Plan, 2010.



Map 3: Fitzroy catchment showing land tenure

Source: Department of Water



Map 4: Native Title and Aboriginal Communities

Source: Department of Water
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