Real Partnerships – Rainforest Rescue and Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation
Rainforest Rescue acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which our organisation is located, where we work and where we live. We respect ancestors and Elders past, present and emerging.
Rainforest Rescue is grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to work with the Kuku Yalanji people in the Daintree region. Our annual tree plantings are always begun with a welcome to country from our friends, traditional tribal elder Bennett Walker and his son, Juan Walker, who leads the smoking ceremonies and is a teacher of Yalanji language at the Mossman school.
We have been seeking partnership that will enable us to do more for rescue and restoration, and that will bring opportunities for us to better support the Yalanji people of the Daintree area and to learn from them.
We have a had the good fortune to work with Jabalbina on one occasion quite awhile ago on a Daintree Riverside restoration project. It’s time for more good work together.
Jabalbina Aboriginal Land Corporation was established in late 2007, following a thirteen-year process of native title mediation. The Federal Court determined Native Title over Eastern Kuku Yalanji traditional lands in Far North Queensland.
From their website: “Jabalbina is the registered Cultural Heritage Body for Eastern Kuku Yalanji Bama insuring the landscape of Kuku Yalanji Bubu (lands) is both environmentally and culturally secure. This is one of the single most important responsibility of Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC and Jabalbina Yalanji Land Trust. Jabalbina works closely with its Kuku Yalanji Traditional Owners to ensure the maintenance of Kuku Yalanji Bama culture through a number of programs and projects on and off Country. United as Eastern Kuku Yalanji people we will care for our land, develop our economic and community potential, ensuring our cultural integrity and optimisation of benefits for Kuku Yalanji Traditional Owners.”
Not long ago there was a change in leadership at the Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation. Their new CEO, Kupa Teao, responded to my call instantly and went far out of his way to meet with me and our Daintree team when I was last there in July. He brought two of his rangers, Will Smith and Kallum Clarke, and we gathered at our Daintree Native Nursery.
Our goals are complementary and our opportunities to support one another and to work together are many. We are currently looking at ways to work together, first in restoration and soon in rescuing and protecting the land…forever.
We’re excited – and we’re grateful – to have the opportunity to work together, to learn from one another, and to support the goals of Jabalbina and the Kuku Yalanji people. We know that we have a lot to learn from these First Peoples and their wisdom. We hope to provide them with as much value in return.
Watch this space.