The release of a new draft management plan will ensure better protection for the Worimi Conservation lands existing north of Newcastle.
The picturesque Worimi Conservation lands stretch 22 kilometres from Anna Bay in the North, to Fern
Bay in the South. Traditional owners from the region consider the area to be of high cultural significance. It appears to be untouched from the outside world and it is hoped new measures will ensure it stays this way for many years to come.
Worimi Conservation Lands Chairperson Petrice Manton is excited about the increased protection to be implemented over the region.
"Well today we're celebrating the draft plan of management, which is a document that will help us manage the landscape," says Ms Manton.
The plans new measures include improving the awareness of Worimi cultural sites and values, such as shell middens, while also restoring and protecting the frontal dune and vegetation.
"We've had stakeholders that have contributed to the draft plan and the Aboriginal owners of the board have used a vision that we created for the park which is to 'protect, respect and connect'. Having input into the draft plan has been great for the Aboriginal owners,” says Ms Manton.
One of the major challenges in creating the draft management plan is trying to find a balance between preserving ancient Worimi sites and culture, and maintaining modern recreational and tourism interests.
"I think for the Aboriginal owners this land is so significant; it’s our connection, it's our connection to our ancestors. We’ve got a huge responsibility with the site that is out here because we want our next generations to be able to maintain that connection to our land. It’s also recognising that all those other people are out here to enjoy the land as well and it’s our opportunity to come out here and understand more about Aboriginal culture and appreciate the landscape and certainly appreciate the sites that we do have out here," says Ms Manton.
Minimising the harm from recreational activities and protecting sacred sites is not an easy task, but the draft management plan is certainly a step in the right direction.