Wilson Inlet Heritage Preservation Project

2008

Project Proposal

Project Partners

Local Traditional Owners

Department of Indigenous Affairs

Department of Water

Restoring Connections Project

South Coast NRM

Introduction

In response to a range of issues and pressures affecting Wilson Inlet Traditional Owners, the Department of Water, Restoring Connections Project, and the Department of Indigenous Affairs have initiated a project that will conduct a large-scale assessment of heritage values associated with the Inlet to inform management planning and project actions. The project will invite Elders and interested members of the Noongar community to contribute to the cultural assessment and subsequent project actions.

The Wilson Inlet Heritage Preservation Project will be a community led initiative that works towards preservation, protection and promotion of Noongar heritage values at Wilson Inlet. The project aims to address current and future pressures affecting the Inlet by directly engaging community and key agencies in an assessment and planning project. In response to the assessment and planning stages of the project, on-ground actions will also be carried out where necessary.

The project will be directed by Traditional Owners and facilitated by agency representatives from Department of Indigenous Affairs and Restoring Connections Project. The involvement of other community and agency stakeholders will be encouraged. The Shire of Denmark and City of Albany in particular will be sought as project partners. South Coast NRM are a funding partner.

Project Background

The South Coast Heritage Restoration Project 2007/08 is a joint initiative of Department of Indigenous Affairs and South Coast NRM. Based on the recommendations of the South Coast Heritage Assessment Project Report 2006, the current project aims to implement protective and rehabilitative actions at high priority Indigenous heritage places identified by Traditional Owners. On-ground actions are implemented through community initiatives with an emphasis on collaborative approaches between Traditional Owners and relevant agencies.

Specific project objectives vary across the region but all actions aim to achieve outcomes for the protection and promotion of Indigenous culture and heritage, protection and promotion of land, water and ecological values, building community capacity, and fostering strong working relationships between communities and agencies. The project delivers a range of NRM actions across diverse landscapes and maintains a focus on community, culture and caring for country.

Project Plan

Initially, further funding and support will be sought from relevant agency stakeholders and all project partners will have the opportunity for input into the project. Once all project partners are involved, an open community meeting will be held to gather Elders and interested community members all together to inform the project. This meeting will form the basis for the project and begin the process.

A core component of the fieldwork will involve archaeological survey which is to be conducted by the community in partnership with archaeologists from Department of Indigenous Affairs, Restoring Connections Project and South Coast NRM. Fieldwork will also address ecological concerns and issues such as water level and annual sandbar opening. Time in the field will be utilized in obtaining direction from Elders and community for future management of the Inlet and the identification of immediate project actions to be undertaken.

Subsequent project actions will be undertaken on-ground under community direction with input from relevant stakeholders.

Results will be compiled in a report and used to inform management planning and future actions. Recorded information will be archived in the Department of Indigenous Affairs Heritage Register.

Project Partners

Initial funding has been provided by South Coast NRM and Department of Water. Department of Indigenous Affairs as a project partner is playing a coordinating role and providing agency support. Restoring Connections Project will provide in-kind support. Traditional Owners will direct the project.

Project Coordination

The project will be coordinated by Myles Mitchell through the South Coast Heritage Restoration Project (Department of Indigenous Affairs - Albany).

Contact

For more information please contact Myles Mitchell on 0409-686-711 ([email protected]) or contact the Department of Indigenous Affairs - Albany on 9842-3000