More than 400 hectares of land has been officially returned to the Darumbal people from Central Queensland on Tuesday following a successful Native Title determination in 2016.
Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation board member and Elder, George James, said he now wanted to use the land to teach the next generation about traditional ways.
“We’re hoping to now use some of this land to take our youth – our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren – camping in this bush so we can sit by a fire and tell stories, hold ceremonies, dance, cook, and get them away from their mobile phones,” said Mr James.
He said the areas of land parcels handed back carried some “significant historic events for our people.”
“Thompson Point at the mouth of the Fitzroy River was a traditional source of food for the Darumbal people,” he said.
“In short, it will help our youth to re-establish their cultural connection to our land, to find their place in our culture, and it will cement it for generations to come.”
Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke, attended the ceremony in Rockhampton today and said it celebrated Darumbal people’s connection to Country.
“The Federal Court made their native title determination over these lands in 2016, today’s land transfer is another chapter in the journey of it going into Darumbal people’s hands,” said Mr O’Rourke.
“From today, Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation holds freehold title on Country near Mount Chalmers, Mount Archer and Thompson Point.
“These transfers demonstrate the government’s ongoing commitment to recognising the rights, history and culture of our First Nations Peoples and the deep connection they continue to hold to the land and to their ancestors.”
Since 2015, the Queensland Government has transferred 160 parcels of land and approximately 500,000 hectares of land to First Nations Peoples.
Minister for Natural Resources, Dr Anthony Lynham, congratulated the Darumbal people and said the Queensland Government was committed to recognising the significant connection “First Nations People have with the land, rivers and creeks of our beautiful state.”