New Cape York culture and conservation partnership

The Wuthathi Land Trust, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the US-based philanthropic organisation, The Christensen Fund, have joined forces on a project to foster Indigenous traditional knowledge and help protect one of Australia’s most spectacular areas.

The Wuthathi people are the Traditional Owners of Shelburne Bay on Cape York Peninsula with members in Injinoo, Lockhart River and Cairns.

“This cultural regeneration project is another step towards our aspirations to preserve and pass on Wuthathi culture and tradition,” said Wuthathi Land Trust representative Ray Wallis. “It means we are a step closer to developing plans, underpinned by Wuthathi traditional knowledge, to help us sustainably use and manage our estate.”

“ACF is honoured to be a partner with the Wuthathi land Trust in this project,” said ACF Cape York officer Leah Talbot. “We fully support the incorporation of Indigenous land management techniques and knowledge that better protects biodiversity and culture, with contemporary approaches to conservation. It is about linking Indigenous culture and values with conservation and this project will be a great way to achieve this goal.”

The Christensen Fund has put $US50, 000 towards the project.

“The Christensen Fund believes the world’s cultural and biological diversity is priceless,” said Christensen Fund Northern Australia Program Officer Henrietta Marrie. “And in Cape York Peninsula they are interlinked and must be maintained. The Christensen Fund objective is to strengthen local groups on the ground. So, we are pleased to support such a worthwhile project with fantastic partners.”

The funding will support two ‘on country’ trips for Wuthathi Traditional Owners. Information gathered will be used to develop a Wuthathi Cultural Regeneration Strategy to complement a Culture and Conservation Framework produced in 2004 also with the support of ACF.