6 July, 2021
Grants to help Heal Country
The Palaszczuk Government has announced funding to help Indigenous communities across Queensland care for Country, building on the success of similar funding last year which saw 25 jobs created as part of Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
Making the announcement during NAIDOC Week, Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said applications are open for the Looking after Country program, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations able to share in up to $500,000 for programs aimed at conserving and restoring land and sea.
“First Nations communities have played a central and powerful role in caring for environment, culture and heritage for tens of thousands of years,” Minister Scanlon said.
“This year’s NAIDOC theme is Healing Country: embracing First Nation cultural knowledge and understanding, which is exactly what these grants are aimed at.
“Funding of up to $75,000 will be available to support projects that provide opportunities for jobs and for Traditional Owners to continue caring for Country.
“Projects can include anything from conservation of cultural sites and events to sharing knowledge of country across generations, habitat restoration and traditional fire management.
“It builds on support for Indigenous communities as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s record $1.4 billion investment in the environment and COVID-19 economic recovery plan, as well as major strides already taken towards a Path to Treaty.
Minister Scanlon said recipients from the last Looking after Country grant round have been achieving great outcomes, despite the COVID-19 challenges of the last year.
“Goorathuntha Traditional Owners utilised their 2020 grant to deliver the ‘Mt Tabor Women’s Healing Group’ project on Mt Tabor station, near Warwick.
“The project included two successful women’s healing camps which allowed Bidjara women to visit country, sometimes for the very first time, and connect with their strong cultural heritage.
“The women participants spent time learning from their Elders, recording cultural information and planning protection measures for important cultural heritage sites.
“Next, these women will help install the protection measures, which will help maintain their tangible cultural heritage for future generations.”
Bidjara and Kara-Kara woman, Leann Wilson said: “The Women’s Healing Camp Weekend was an experience of discovery, celebration and reconnection. This opportunity allowed me to connect with family I didn’t know about and to country I had never been on. I walked in the footsteps of my Ancestors, felt their presence, understood and embraced the resilience … and in those moments my spirit was strengthened.”
With their grant, Dabu Jajikal Aboriginal Corporation is completing a heritage site survey and management plan at Balabay (Weary Bay) near Bloomfield.
The project, aimed at conserving important Jajikal cultural heritage, is supporting visits to country by elders to survey sites, a workshop with families, a survey of documented records and development of a management plan.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Councils, Indigenous Corporations, and non-profit corporations and organisations can apply for the grants, with applications closing on August 9, 2021.
For further information head to www.qld.gov.au/environment/plants-animals/conservation/community/land-sea-rangers/grants-program