Planning together on Country for Country

DEWNR branches and regions have come together to help Far West Coast people plan for their Country, resulting in community endorsement of the ‘Far West Coast Healthy Country Plan’ in November last year.

Nullarbor On-Country Planning Workshop at Koonalda Homestead

The Healthy Country Planning (HCP) approach doesn’t just consider the protection of animals, plants and cultural features. It also takes into account physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

The approach acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the original custodians of the land, and that their involvement in how it is managed now is critical to good outcomes.

Traditional Owner Sue Haseldine said that for Aboriginal people the land is their school, church, pharmacy, supermarket, butcher and cemetery.

The plan itself is about achieving the vision of the Far West Coast people for their country: ‘a vibrant Far West Coast community where the unique Aboriginal cultures and the arid and fragile country is strong, shared and respected’.

The planning process resulted in strategies such as:

  • We will get more people out on-country so Elders can share their knowledge and stories.
  • We will hunt in the right way, in the right season, so there is enough healthy guga (bush meat) for all of us.
  • We will manage camels particularly around rockholes so they don’t damage cultural sites.

While the logistics were challenging, a series of workshops provided the first opportunity for many families to go out on country together. The process also needed to take into account that the Far West Coast area comprises 14 national parks and six different cultural groups.

The HCP will also inform the next AW and EP Regional Natural Resources Management Plans and relevant parks management plans.

To find out more, view the full Far West Coast Healthy Country Plan and summary of the plan .

For more information contact Far West Coast Policy and Planning Officer Saras Kumar.