The Murujuga Land and Sea Unit Strategic Plan

Balalyi  Yijala  Banthu

Past – Present – Future

from Yesterday for Today and Tomorrow

Murujuga Land and Sea Unit

Strategic Plan 2015-17

CEO Statement – The Purpose of the Strategic Plan

The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to guide the work of the Murujuga Land and Sea Unit (MLSU) through 2015-2017.  It has moved from being a pilot project (2012-13) into a Ranger Program (2013-14).  The Strategic Plan will assist in developing a sustainable land and sea management unit.

The Strategic Plan will help to prioritise the efforts of the MLSU so that resources are used effectively and key outcomes achieved.

Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC), the Board, the Circle of Elders, and the Ngarda Ngarli community are proud of the work done by the Murujuga Ranger Program and the preceding Pilot Ranger Project.  MAC is determined that the MLSU will succeed in its objectives, and manage the land and sea country, its cultural and natural values for future generations.

The Dampier Archipelago and Murujuga are areas of special interest to Australia and the world. This significance is reflected in the National Heritage Listing and the proclamation of the Murujuga National Park.  The Strategic Plan will also help governments, industry partners, and the wider community to understand how we work, and to work with us to protect the rock art, and the other cultural, natural and marine values of the place.

Endorsement from the Circle of Elders

The Circle of Elders are proud of the work of the Murujuga Land and Sea Management Unit.  The Circle of Elders dedicate this Strategic Plan to the Old People who cared for the country and to the memory of the young Ranger who was a pioneer for the Women Rangers at Murujuga.  We want to see the young leaders coming through and everyone working for the good of the country and the people.

Cultural Governance – Role of the Circle of Elders

It was identified at the inception of the program that a strong form of cultural governance would be required. This was conceived as the Murujuga Rangers Program Circle of Elders. The community has embraced the Circle of Elders as the body for guidance around the cultural implications, risks and opportunities associated with Ranger Activities and proposals. The Circle of Elders has proved effective in this role.

The Ranger team organises and supports the Circle of Elders Gatherings. The Rangers rebuilt a “Yatha”, a long established camp, as a quality, culturally appropriate, functional, and attractive meeting facility for the Circle of Elders and other gatherings on country.  The Circle of Elders has so far provided guidance and ethical clearance processes on many issues including the formation of the Women’s Ranger Team, the progression of the Cultural Management Plan, several research proposals, and numerous other matters.  The gatherings are efficiently organised, well structured and have a clear program and agenda.

Vision

The MLSU will be the primary manager of Murujuga Land and Sea Country, including the Dampier Archipelago.

The Land and Sea Management Unit will have cultural governance through the Circle of Elders, and the staff, resources and capacities to manage and protect the cultural, natural and marine conservation areas in ways that have cultural integrity and are open to new learning and ways of working.

The MLSU will be sustainable and have productive relationships with stakeholders to help to identify, preserve, manage and transmit the values of the place.

Values

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Rock Art, Environment, Sea Country, People, Earth, Culture, Truth

Ngayintharri Gumawarni Ngurrangga – We’re all coming together on country

Warrgkamugardi Guma – Teamwork

Mirda Banthuru – Cultural Safety

Mirrnu Warnigu – Learning

Mayaga – Manga Buranhagugu Guma – Men and women looking out for each other

Mangurlabura – future generations

Jarda murndu julyu bura – Elders

Nyambalibura – strong leadership

Mission

The Mission of the MLSU is to protect the cultural, natural and marine values of Murujuga, including the surrounding waters of the Dampier Archipelago, and to identify, protect and monitor the rock art for future generations.

Philosophy

The work of the Ranger Team values Murujuga as a place where:

  • Country is cared for so that the human activity enhances the cultural and natural heritage values.
  • Family and community relationships are maintained, and where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses can grow together and benefit economically, socially and culturally.
  • Cultural knowledge and heritage of country and people is held and transferred to the next generation to enhance a strong cultural legacy and a healthy land and sea country.

Aims and Objectives

The Land and Sea Management Unit (MLSU) Objectives are:

  1. Manage the Land and Sea Country
  2. Build the capacity of our staff to achieve our objectives
  3. Strengthen our Community
  4. Build a strong and sustainable Land and Sea Unit.
  5. Build strategic stakeholder relationships
  6. Develop our young leaders.

The objectives are based on the practical lessons learned from the operation of the Ranger Program through 2012 and 2013, and built around the values framework.

Strategies and Key Projects

Objective – Manage the Land and Sea Country

The management of the land and sea takes in a range of diverse activity based on patrolling, specific tasks, and a presence in the landscape, and on strategic, policy and administrative work.

(Relevant Conservation Agreement Objective – Identify sites with National Heritage Values. Present and transmit information about the National Heritage Values. Manage National Heritage Values to ensure the values are conserved for future generations. Research and monitor the National Heritage Values).

Activities and Projects

In order to manage the Land and Sea Country, the Land and Sea Unit will:

  • Focus activity to protect the Rock Art and the stories associated with the rock art.
  • Facilitate the Circle of Elders meetings in order to provide cultural governance and guidance for the MLSU.
  • Work as a partner with Department of Parks and Wildlife as a member of the Murujuga Park Council to fulfill the Murujuga National Park Management Plan. Conduct some operations on a fee for service basis.  Carry out specific tasks as required – signage, feral baiting, monitoring, other.
  • Continue to conduct patrols on land and sea.  Annual target is minimum 200 patrols on land and 50 on sea.  Continue to refine electronic data collection, storage, and analysis – visitor activity, flora and fauna, refuse, graffiti, other.
  • Research and plan for the creation of an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) over the sea country of the Dampier Archipelago.  Commence discussion with DPaW over the creation of the Dampier Archipelago Marine Park.
  • Facilitate the Murujuga Cultural Management Plan Process.
  • Continue to identify and zone areas of high cultural sensitivity in order to protect the rock art and the cultural heritage values.
  • Conduct Cultural Safety Awareness inductions on land and sea-country.
  • Monitor/document flora and fauna using traditional/cultural/natural ecological knowledge and values.
  • Clarify and Strengthen Ranger authority to address vandalism and violation of sites and to protect National Heritage Values.
  • Develop and Implement a Visitor Management and Cultural Tourism Strategy that enables the public to enjoy and learn about the Murujuga land and sea country in a way that respects and enhances Ngarda Ngarli traditional culture and values.
  • Work with agencies and stakeholders to monitor air quality and potential industrial impacts.
  • Investigate the benefits of potential world heritage listing

Objective – Build the Capacity of Our Staff to Achieve Our Objectives

The greatest asset the Ranger Program, and the future Land and Sea Management Unit will have is its staff. There must be a constant effort to build the resilience and skills of the people, who are leaders in their community.

(Relevant Conservation Agreement Objective – Identify sites with National Heritage Values. Present and transmit information about the National Heritage Values. Manage National Heritage Values to ensure the values are conserved for future generations. Research and monitor the National Heritage Values).

Activities and Projects

In order to build the capacity of our staff, the Land and Sea Management Unit will:

  • Continue to identify training needs and develop individual Ranger Training Plans consistent with joint management agreement and Murujuga National Park Management Plan objectives and strategies.
  • Identify necessary skills and competencies and complete training required to establish MAC Ranger authority in relation to relevant legislation.
  • Carry out training and fulfill training plans (Flora and fauna management, GPS and recording, plant and animal identification, Ranger roles and authorities to act under legislation, visitor management, legislative compliance, cultural heritage management training).
  • Identify existing strengths within the Ranger Team. Develop, share, and apply strengths.

Objective – Strengthen Our Community

The Ranger Program is based the Ngurrara connection to land and sea country which links directly to the Ngarda Ngarli community. It relies on the community for corporate governance through MAC, for cultural guidance and advice through the Circle of Elders, for its current workforce, and for its future workforce. Development of increased awareness of the MLSU within the community will contribute to future success.

(Relevant Conservation Agreement Objective – Present and transmit information about the National Heritage Values. Manage National Heritage Values to ensure the values are conserved for future generations. Research and monitor the National Heritage Values).

Activities and Projects

In order to strengthen our community, the Land and Sea Management Unit will:

  • Continue Liaison with schools and community groups
  • Maintain presentations and cultural safety awareness programs.
  • Develop “Cultural Health” capacity to assist community physical/mental health.
  • Continue to support the Circle of Elders as the source of cultural authority for the Rangers and for community development.
  • Work with Community initiatives in Roebourne, Dampier, and Karratha to promote the National Heritage Values and maintain and protect the environment.

Objective – Build a Strong and Sustainable Land and Sea Management Unit

The ability to protect the country depends on a stable and effective Ranger Program – or Land and Sea Management Unit – structure. The goal is to consolidate and extend the developing capacity of the Unit so that it can be sustainable and effective in the long term.

(Relevant Conservation Agreement Objective – Identify sites with National Heritage Values. Present and transmit information about the National Heritage Values. Manage National Heritage Values to ensure the values are conserved for future generations. Research and monitor the National Heritage Values).

Activities and Projects

In order to build a strong and sustainable Land and Sea Management Unit, the MLSU will:

  • Implement the Murujuga Land and Sea Unit Strategic Plan (2015-17).
  • Internally monitor and account for outcomes against the Implementation Plan.
  • Refine reporting systems and report as required – RAFC/Circle of Elders/MAC.
  • Complete administrative set up with new IT management system.
  • Develop and Document Murujuga Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation training syllabus – school to career-lifelong learning approach. Integrate with Junior Rangers Program.
  • Facilitate Murujuga Living Knowledge Centre (Ranger Station/Visitor Centre) Feasibility Study (completed 2104).
  • Plan the transition to the MLKC Ranger Station (2017).
  • Plan and commence pilot Junior Rangers (Ranger for Life) program to develop the skill base, and as a part of the succession plan for the Ranger Team.
  • Further develop policy and procedure frameworks (including Cultural Safety Management/OHS/HR/other).
  • Identify fee-for-service, joint venture, and other opportunities to develop a sustainable income base for the Ranger Program – short/medium/long term.
  • Develop structures that allow for the MLSU to benefit from business and fee for service opportunities.
  • Plan for long-term financial sustainability basis for future Ranger activity.

Objective – Build Strategic Relationships with Key Stakeholders

Effective management of the country – land and sea depends on effective relationships with stakeholders who have resources, responsibilities and rights. The developing MLSU must take a strategic approach to identifying and prioritising relationships – so that it grows in strength and capability from the right partnerships.

(Relevant Conservation Agreement Objective  – Identify sites with National Heritage Values. Present and transmit information about the National Heritage Values. Manage National Heritage Values to ensure the values are conserved for future generations. Research and monitor the National Heritage Values).

Activities and Projects

In order to build strong strategic relationships with key stakeholders, the Land and Sea Management Unit will:

  • Identify Ranger Program MLSU needs.
  • Identify Ranger Program/MLSU capacity to assist and deliver services.
  • Prioritise stakeholder strategic relationships.
  • Clarify and strengthen relationships with government agencies – Commonwealth/State/Local.
  • Clarify and strengthen relationships with industry partners.
  • Clarify working and research relationships with Universities, research institutions and consultants.
  • Formalise relationships where required
  • Complete stakeholder mapping.
  • Conduct joint planning with key stakeholders.

Objective – Develop Our Young Leaders

The future of the MLSU, the Ranger program, and the community depends on the development of young leaders with skills and strengths.

Activities and Projects

In order to build a group of young leaders, the Land and Sea Management Unit will:

  • Develop the Junior Rangers program.
  • Establish a career path and development opportunities to build on strengths