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Monday, 14 November 2011

Cultural Landscape, Cultural Experience, Cultural Dividends!!

One of Bana Yarralji's core objectives, in seeking to apply sustainable business principles and establish themselves as a cultural enterprise, is to see Aboriginal Lore restored to Country, and the local landscape better recognised and respected as a cultural landscape.

Back in October, then, Bana Yarralji cultural entreprenuers (Marilyn and Peter Wallace) and Bana Yarralji anthropologist (Bruce White) undertook some cultural landscape work with the Bana Yarralji rangers Working on Country plus the larger group of local Aboriginal rangers currently receiving Conservation and Land Management training on Nyungkal Country (hosted by Bana Yarralji of course!)

Bana Yarralji's hope, and Bana Yarralji's plan is that Bana Yarralji rangers will play a role into the long term future promoting awareness of the nature of the Nyungkalwarra cultural landscape that runs up, down, and around the whole Upper Annan River catchment.   Arising out of Marilyn Wallace and Peter Wallace's past efforts over many years, Bana Yarralji has been very fortunate in being able to obtain and host an on-line Nyungkalwarra Cultural Information System for this purpose, and Bana Yarralji has been very keen to see this information system used, and used effectively

In October, Bana Yarralji finally found formal opportunity, in association with CALM training,  to discuss, explore, and help improve each Aboriginal ranger's capacity to use the Nyungkal cultural information system, with an eye to making good use of Queensland's Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act plus regulations to see places of most significance (eg Yrrmbal - sacred places)  recorded, databased, registered, and protected in Lore and Law

Bana Yarralji, Bana Yarralji Rangers Working on Country, plus TAFE Conservation and Land Management students all went out into the Nyungkal cultural landscape together to formally record, database and potentially register places that, on first glance, may not look particularly significant but, on further investigation have had long associations and hold plenty of significance in local Nyungkalwarra Lore

At each place visited Marilyn Walllace 'revealed' unexpected significances such as the otherwise 'hidden' location of Aboriginal rock art known within local mythology and stories telling of the non-Aboriginal invasion of Nyungkalwarra Country; or the almost sacred, local religious value of rocks laid in a trail along the ground a long time ago, by the Nyungkalwarra's rainbow serpent (at the junction of three rivers - Bangalnarran)

Photos were taken, global postioning system (gps) location reading were taken, forms were completed to be uploaded into the Nyungkalwarra system, and much interest generated in the rangers themsevles seeing these places databased, possibly registered, managed, and protected into the long term future, including some potentially significant visitor management arrangments to be implemented around the Bangalnarran sites

As an emerging cultural enterprise Bana Yarralji wishes to obtain cultural dividends of the above kind; Bana Yarralji is keen to see interpretative signs and full ranger involvement in providing a very immediate and real cultural experience to identified areas (teaching respect for Lore to future visitors); and Bana Yarralji needs to be able to work out how to generate some income out of all of this,  possibly in the form of some kind of user pays visitor permitting system or guide service   .. all to be further explored in an effort to see sustainable business practices applied to achieving desired cultural dividends.

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Cultural entreprenuers moving onto country, building a base on country, working on country; caring for country, and hosting guests on country