The Wet Tropics Management Authority has welcomed the announcement on Friday 9 November by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, to have the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area recognised for its Aboriginal cultural heritage.
“The Wet Tropics Management Authority recognises the outstanding Aboriginal heritage of the Wet Tropics and congratulates the Minister on his decision to add the cultural heritage of Rainforest Aboriginal people to the National Heritage List,” said Wet Tropic’s Chair, Associate Professor Peter Valentine.
This is a historic and momentous occasion for Rainforest Aboriginal people with the new listing formally recognising the unique connection that Rainforest Aboriginal people have with the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
“It has been a long wait for Rainforest Aboriginal people in the Wet Tropics for recognition of our cultural values on the National Heritage List,” said Kuku Yalanji Wet Tropics Director Leah Talbot. “A huge congratulations to all Rainforest Bama.”
The listing of cultural values reflects the dynamic relationships that Rainforest Aboriginal people have with their country and will ensure that their values are better appreciated and understood, along with the natural values already listed.
Former Wet Tropics Board Director and Malanbarra Dulabed Traditional Owner Allison Halliday said that the hard work by many people negotiating with governments over many years has been recognised. “Hopefully with this recognition will now come support for growing our businesses and jobs for our young people in looking after country. We should have a real place in making decisions and protecting our cultural heritage for all Australians.”
“The Wet Tropics Management Authority will continue to work in partnership with Rainforest Aboriginal people and support them in expressing their knowledge, culture and management practices on country,” added Mr Valentine.
Learn more about Wet Tropics National Heritage listing.
Rainforest Aboriginal Country is special section on this website where you can learn all about Rainforest Aboriginal people and their role in World Heritage management.
The Australian Government website has more information about the National Heritage List and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.