Lama Lama National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land - CYPAL) celebrated 10 years of joint management between the Lama Lama traditional owners and the Queensland Government,
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the 35,560 hectare protected area, near the northern tip of Queensland, was rich in natural and cultural values.
“I am so pleased to be here in Lama Lama to join with Traditional Owners, Aboriginal rangers, community representatives and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers and staff to celebrate this major milestone,” Ms Enoch said.
“I congratulate the Lama Lama Traditional Owners on their many achievements over the past decade.
“The ranger crews managing not only this park, but the freehold lands and nature refuges, are an inspiring example to ranger groups across Australia.
“The work they do to manage fire, feral animals and weeds and marine wildlife, and monitor water quality and sea grass, is impressive,” she said.
As part of the big community celebration at Port Stewart today, a commemorative plaque marking the anniversary was unveiled.
Chairperson of the Lama Lama Land Trust Karen Liddy, said Lama Lama People were very proud to be standing beside Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) at the celebration.
“We have worked together now for the past 10 years, to manage and protect our Country,” Ms Liddy said.
“It has been a two-way learning, and we can celebrate our achievements.
“Lama Lama National Park CYPAL and Marpa National Park CYPAL are of immense cultural and environmental importance to our Lama Lama people, and we have developed a strong and respectful partnership with QPWS in managing them.
This partnership is built on the hard work and commitment of our Elders past and present, who back on 10 July 2008 took a giant leap, entering into this partnership and paving the way for others to follow.Chairperson of the Lama Lama Land Trust Karen Liddy
“This partnership is built on the hard work and commitment of our Elders past and present, who back on 10 July 2008 took a giant leap, entering into this partnership and paving the way for others to follow. Without their tireless efforts in working for the return of our country, we would be at a loss, and we dedicate today to them,” Ms Liddy said.
Gavin Bassani, Chairperson, Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation, said the celebration marked 10 years into a partnership with QPWS to jointly manage and protect the natural and cultural values of Lama Lama National Park CYPAL and Marpa National Park CYPAL.
“For Lama Lama People, entering into this partnership was an unknown road we took back in 2008, to have our country returned to us and to maintain our connections to country well into the future,” Mr Bassani said.
“We are very proud of our efforts, having grown a respected Land and Sea Ranger Program and now work across all of our Lama Lama clan estate.
“We have created opportunities for our children, our youth and our elders to be involved. We have built strong partnerships with QPWS and other departments and organisations, built on mutual respect and an understanding that both parties bring a wealth of knowledge to the decision-making and planning table,” he said.
Engagement and Communications Officer, Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation Mikayla Down, said the journey to having a successful joint-management partnership had been long but very rewarding.
“To be able to say we have a great working relationship with QPWS and working together to ensure our values are kept strong is a great achievement,” Ms Down said.
“The next 10 years look very promising and I hope that as the younger ones come through, they continue to strive towards bigger and better outcomes for our people."
Ms Enoch toured the Lama Lama ranger base at Port Stewart and viewed the park from the air with traditional owners.
“Not only was Lama Lama Queensland’s first jointly managed park, it was also the first national park in Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land or CYPAL,” she said.
“Since 2008, the Queensland Government and Traditional Owners have negotiated and dedicated 28 national parks CYPAL, including Lama Lama, with a total area of 2,068,524 hectares.”
Lama Lama National Park CYPAL is jointly managed by the Lama Lama Land Trust and the Queensland Government in accordance with an Indigenous Management Agreement.
The nearby Marpa National Park CYPAL is an island park also jointly managed by Lama Lama Land Trust and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
The country is managed in a way that recognises the importance of the country to the Traditional Owners and focuses on conservation of biodiversity and cultural values.
The park has rivers, sandy plateaus, savannah grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, mangroves, swamps and mudflats that are home to an array of plant and animal species. Management principles for the park recognise that natural and cultural values are inseparable.