Balanggarra Ventures, a subsidiary of Traditional Owner group Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation (Balanggarra) and the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) have signed a five-year management agreement for the operation of the Home Valley Tourism Resort located on the Gibb River Road, an approximate two-hour drive from Kununurra, Western Australia.
Balanggarra Ventures will manage and maintain the resort while developing a strategy for the permanent divestment of the Home Valley pastoral lease back to the Traditional Owners.
The resort is the largest Aboriginal tourism operation in the state of Western Australia and will be run according to the corporation’s guiding principles of self-determination and Connection to Country underwriting a new community-empowered model of Indigenous tourism in Western Australia.
This agreement enables Traditional Owners to manage facilities and provide employment and professional development opportunities for local Indigenous people.
Home Valley General Manager, Trisha Birch said, “Finalising this agreement is an overdue milestone in securing real control over our land and assets to benefit Balanggarra People. For too long, other people have made money from our Country, but now we are actively developing several projects to speak for our Country and to establish our economic independence. We look forward to welcoming everybody to Balanggarra country at Home Valley in 2023”.
The site will continue to be managed by an experienced team of Balanggarra Traditional Owners who are currently overseeing extensive site renovations in preparation for a May 2023 re-opening.
Home Valley is the gateway to Balanggarra country, and Indigenous on-Country Tours are in development and will be led by Balanggarra Traditional Owners, exploring and explaining their unique and ancient cultural connections to the land.
Balanggarra, with support from the ILSC, has now begun developing a long-term strategy for the full divestment of the Home Valley pastoral lease back to its Balanggarra and Wilinggin Traditional Owners.
This will involve working through commercial and tenure planning, ensuring the aspirations of the Traditional Owners are reflected and maximised in all land planning arrangements.
ILSC GCEO Joe Morrison congratulates Balanggarra Ventures for their leadership in taking over management of Home Valley on behalf of Balanggarra Traditional Owners.
“We know that the tourism sector is hungry for Indigenous products, and I have full confidence that Balanggarra Ventures will provide excellent experiences for those seeking a genuine product. The management of Home Valley is a positive step in self-determination for Traditional Owners and places them on the path to having the property fully divested,” Mr Morrison said.
For more information and to make a booking for the 2023 season go to www.home-valley.com.au.
Riverside suites, homestead rooms, as well as camping and caravanning sites in both the homestead and riverside areas are now available.
Balanggarra – Background
Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (BAC) is the native title holding prescribed body corporate for the Balanggarra people, managing over 2.9 million hectares of pristine land and waters across the rugged northeast Kimberley.
BAC is governed by 16 Balanggarra Board Directors, and comprises a membership of over 400 Indigenous people, largely based in Kununurra, Wyndham and Kalumburu.
The BAC area covers a huge expanse of the Kimberley, including Oombulgurri and Forrest River Aboriginal reserves, Carson River pastoral lease, and parts of the Drysdale River National Park.
BAC is experiencing rapid institutional growth, having assumed management of Home Valley Station in May 2021, along with expanding its broader tourism and land management operations.
BAC takes a holistic development approach, using sustainable economic opportunities as a platform to embed Healthy Country and Healthy Culture at the heart of the Balanggarra Community’s story of growth. With the resort being run according to Balanggarra’s guiding principles of self-determination and Connection to Country, as outlined in its Healthy Country Plan.
BAC is providing value to Balanggarra people and is ready to reaffirm its place as a significant contributor to the Kimberley regional landscape.
Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation
The Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) is a corporate Commonwealth entity established under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (ATSI Act).
The ILSC’s long-term vision for meeting its ATSI Act mandate is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to enjoy the rightful entitlements, opportunities and benefits that the return of country and its management brings.
The ILSC’s primary grant program – Our Country Our Future – provides assistance for acquiring and managing rights and interests in land, salt water and fresh water country in order to achieve this vision.
Trisha Birch, General Manager Home Valley Station, Balanggarra Ventures | 0459 830 626
Matrisse Watego, Acting Communications Coordinator, Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation | 07 3854 4661