Central Queensland lands returned back to Darumbal people

More than 400 hectares of land near Rockhampton was officially transferred into the hands of the Darumbal people on Tuesday 11th February 2020 with the ceremony celebrating Darumbal people’s connection to their country and ancestors.

The Federal Court made their native title determination over these lands in 2016, with the land transfer another chapter in the journey of it going into Darumbal people’s hands.

Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation now holds freehold title on country near Mount Chalmers, Mount Archer and Thompson Point recognising the government’s commitment to the rights, history and culture of our First Nations Peoples and the deep connection they continue to hold to the land and to their ancestors. Local Darumbal man, Elder and Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation board member George James, said the land parcels included significant landmarks with strong connections to Darumbal history.

The land parcel on Mount Chalmers is near the recently renamed Mount Baga, an area of significant historic events for our people, and Thompson Point at the mouth of the Fitzroy River was a traditional source of food for the Darumbal people.

These land transfers mean the Darumbal people can help future generations keep connection to their culture and to their country by using some of this land to take Darumbal youth – children, grandchildren and great grandchildren – camping in this bush to sit by a fire and tell stories, hold ceremonies, dance, cook, and get them away from their mobile phones.

This will help youth to re-establish their cultural connection to Darumbal land, to  find their place in the culture, and it will cement it for generations to come.

Commodore Jonathan Earley and Darumbal Elder Aunty Nyoka Hatfield

The successful negotiation of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) between the traditional owners of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area also resulted in new premises for the combined offices of the Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC and Darumbal Enterprises at 18 Prospect Street, Allenstown. The ILUA puts in place mechanisms to allow Darumbal people certainty around land access and protection of cultural heritage.

Commodore Jonathan Earley, on behalf of the Defence department which conducts its Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative on Darumbal land, thanked the Darumbal people for the opportunity to listen and learn and to grow positive stories for future generations.

Note: A map of the areas is available on the DNRME media centre.

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