A rare environmental and important cultural landscape will become an Indigenous Protected Area following a land grant to traditional owners by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).
The ILC purchased Mawonga Station north of Hillston, NSW, in 2011 in conjunction with the Department of the Environment and grant the land to Winangakirri Aboriginal Corporation (Winangakirri).
Mawonga lies in the Cobar Peneplain bioregion, an under-represented bioregion in Australia’s natural reserve system, which has a myriad of important Indigenous rock art sites, camp sites and scarred trees.
The acquisition and grant secures ownership of Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan traditional land and contributes to cultural revival and reconnection, while preserving its environmental values for future generations.
Strong land management training outcomes for Indigenous people will be generated on the property and Winangakirri will employ one full-time Indigenous manager and engage 15 part-time volunteers each year to assist with conservation monitoring and land management.
Since the acquisition by the ILC, Winangakirri has worked with the Department of the Environment to restore habitat and set up the IPA.
The IPA will be formally declared once ownership of the land has been transferred officially to Winangakirri. In September 2014, the Department approved four years of funding to manage the IPA.
The granting of land across Australia by the ILC is assisting Indigenous groups to achieve land ownership and help to grow the Indigenous estate.
The ILC has now granted more than 75% of the 251 properties acquired to Indigenous groups.
The land grants are helping local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to derive a host of land-based benefits in remote, regional and urban Australia. This includes things like developing an economic base for future generations, looking after culturally and environmentally significant country, expanding or securing the delivery of much needed Indigenous services as well as providing training and real jobs