It gives BNTAC great pleasure to announce that we have successfully obtained funding through the 2020 Queensland Government Looking After Country Program, to develop and deliver the Bigambul 10year Caring for Country Plan – setting in place a comprehensive blueprint for a healthy country and a thriving Bigambul nation.
The 10year Bigambul Caring for Country Plan will identify our caring for country and cultural heritage priority areas; their underpinning objectives; and strategies to be undertaken in support of these targets. It will also culminate in development of a Bigambul Caring for Country ‘scorecard’ that will be the framework for the initial country and cultural heritage ‘health check’. The scorecard will allow a mechanism through which to not only conduct a baseline ‘health check’ against the priority areas (with the outcomes of this helping to inform strategies for development as part of the 10year plan), but also a framework for annual/bi-annual similar assessments, so we can track progress and ensure the effectiveness of strategies implemented.
BNTAC has recently completed our Aboriginal Waterways Assessment (AWA), meaning there is available information ready to directly feed-in to the initial ‘health check’ process. Since commencing our water management project in the last half of the 2018/2019 financial year, BNTAC has also undertaken significant activity in the development of the Bigambul Nation Planning – Cultural Flows – Gulli Wongul Nation Plan. The Bigambul Cultural Flows Working Group undertook significant Nation Planning activity, which was funded and supported by the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN).
In addition to the above work that has been undertaken to-date, BNTAC also have in place various Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMPs) with proponents in our determination area. In this manner the Caring for Country Plan will provide a consolidated roadmap for how we care for and manage the health of our country, waterways and cultural heritage – both now and into the future.
Our lead priority outcome is to provide a long-term, community-led and driven plan; that encapsulates our vision and targets for a healthy and thriving Bigambul nation and culture; while also supporting opportunities for community and economic development. Regarding the latter; there will be an emphasis as part of the Plan’s development on maximising the concurrent input of local Bigambul Elders and Traditional Owners and wherever possible, Aboriginal scientists and environmental experts – to support a truly effective and meaningful merger of traditional ecological knowledge with current science and best practice. Extending on this; the timeline for this Plan’s development will parallel development of BNTAC’s 10year Economic Development & Prosperity strategy – with strongly anticipated scope for reciprocal benefits and learnings through the simultaneous development of both strategies/plans.