Land grant a model for community-led land management

18 May 2017

Lake Pleasant View, a 6ha property at Manypeaks 30km east of Albany, has been granted by the Indigenous Land Corporation to the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation (AHRGAC).

[Picture: left to right – Ezzard Flowers, Stan Loo (front), Lester Coyne (rear), Lyn Knapp, Oscar Colbung (rear), Eddie Fry ILC Chairperson, Bill Woods, and Graeme Simpson]

The local Menang people of the Noongar nation have carried out significant work to map the cultural and environmental values of the property, protect significant sites such as a natural rock amphitheatre and have rehabilitated degraded portions of the property.

In doing so, Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation has developed a network of community partnerships with the South Coast NRM group, WA Department of Aboriginal Affairs and local school, university and TAFE groups.

This has led to significant revegetation on the property, training in governance and land management for the Indigenous community and valuable documentation of cultural, archaeological, and environmental information on the property that will benefit the community for the long-term.

Speaking at the grant ceremony, ILC Chairperson Eddy Fry said the group had demonstrated its capacity to own and manage the land and applauded the way the group had developed a network of community partnerships to support its on-going connection and work on the property.

“The ILC purchased the Lake Pleasant View property in 2006 for $130,000 to provide a base for the local Aboriginal community to conduct cultural activities and support the transfer of cultural knowledge to new generations and also to rehabilitate the land and restore historically significant sites,” he said.

“This collaboration has served as a model for community-driven land management in the local area and the ILC is proud to have played its part in supporting the acquisition and grant of the land.

“Lake Pleasant View is delivering benefits to the local Indigenous community and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

AHRGAC Chairperson Lynette Knapp said the local group and wider Noongar community were delighted to celebrate the granting of the land.

“I want to sincerely thank the ILC for firstly purchasing the land and in a way ‘saving’ it from complete ruin,” Ms Knapp said. 
“The granting of this special place back to our Noongar community is very important to us.

“There are now many more people who, through visiting this unique land, have learned so much more about our people than they knew previously – it truly is a special and unique place. 

“The ownership of Lake Pleasant View means that it is safe again.  It means it has begun to heal from the damage that happened previously and it means that we can all continue to care for it and to educate others about this incredible place.

“Continued education about this place is a priority, further revegetation needs to happen and we hope to continue having open access for our community, particularly our oldies.

“Without the help of the ILC we would not be here today going through this process of acquiring our lands back.  Our thanks go out to everyone who has assisted along the way,” Ms. Knapp said.

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