Speaking at the presentation of the model, Mr Mandela highlighted the importance of using techniques such as participatory 3D modelling “…it’s very important that we, as Indigenous people, have a language to communicate who we are that is easily digestible to others”.
The World Parks Congress demonstration is part of a larger IUCN funded project between the Wet Tropics Management Authority and Mandingalbay Yidinji people. Utilising the P3DM technique, the community mapped cultural heritage and places of significance in Mandingalbay country east of Cairns and in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
The 3D model arrived at the congress as a blank canvas. Delegates delighted in watching the model slowly take form over the course of the congress into a colourful and interactive display of culturally significant sites.
The mapping technique is one which empowers Indigenous people, such as Mandingalbay Yidinji, to capture and record the knowledge and stories which are meaningful and important especially to them. Using participatory methods to determine what knowledge to map, and how to display that knowledge, ensured that Mandingalbay Yidinji people remain as decision makers about their own cultural heritage.
Traditional Owner, Dale Mundraby is proud that his people have come together to share their knowledge with each other through the P3DM process.
“It’s not just the process of sitting down together to make the model, it’s that while that’s happening the young ones are asking questions of the elders about country, and stories are being shared,” Mr Mundraby said.
Recently, Mandingalbay Yidinji Rangers visited Trinity Anglican School with the model generating a buzz amongst students and teachers and prompting an ongoing invitation for regular visits. The models will be used in planning tourism enterprises and country management activities in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and beyond.