Mungo National Park: Joint Management Agreement with the Three Traditional Tribal Groups Elders Council
Mungo National Park is wholly contained within the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area (WHA), which has a record of Aboriginal life stretching back over 60,000 years. The WHA's comprehensive plan of management, prepared after extensive community consultation, identified all of the traditional tribal groups who occupy lands within its boundaries.
Rather than 'divide' the WHA up on a tribal basis, three tribal groups, the Barkindji, Mutthi Mutthi and Nyiampaa, developed a concept of 'shared heritage' and formed the Three Traditional Tribal Groups Elders Council. The Council has agreed that management decisions inside the WHA are the business of all three tribes.
To formalise the involvement of traditional owners in the management of Mungo NP, the NPWS entered into discussions with the Elders Council and other Aboriginal community members about options for joint management. One option, the establishment of an Advisory Committee for Mungo NP with a of a majority of members from the Elders Council, became the basis for negotiating the Joint Management Agreement.
The agreement, ratified by the Elders Council on 24 March 2001 after extensive consultation, provides the Council with wide-ranging input into park management. The advisory committee meets regularly to discuss the management of the park and provide advice to the NPWS on issues including:
- the plan of management
- any licences for commercial tour operations on the park
- contracts for work on the park
- employment on the park.
Each school holidays, one of the three traditional tribal groups runs the Discovery guided tour program. In 2010 the Mungo National Park Visitor Centre will be upgraded with structural changes and interpretive material to enhance the visitor experience to Mungo.
For more information on the Aboriginal joint management of Mungo National Park and to hear directly from the Three Traditional Tribal Groups about their connectino to the park go to Visit Mungo
Mungo National Park is listed on Schedule 14 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, which means it can be returned Aboriginal ownership and leased back by the NPWS (see lease-back agreements for more on this). At this stage, the Aboriginal community has decided not to pursue full joint management.
Documents to download
Page last updated: 27 February 2011