Significant landmarks have been transfered to the Darumbal people.
Significant landmarks have been transfered to the Darumbal people.

First nations people receive 160th native title

SIGNIFICANT landmarks with strong connections to the Darumbal people have been transfered at a special ceremony today.

The Darumbal people, an indigenous community of the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast area, today received a native title and land parcel at an official transfer ceremony.

More than 400 hectares of land were officially transferred to them from the Federal Government.

The land sits just outside Rockhampton and specifically refers to country near Mount Chalmers, Mount Archer and Thompson Point.

Today’s announcement results in the total number of hectares transferred to first nations people since 2015 reaching 500,000 – with 160 parcels of landed included.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke attended the ceremony, labelling it a celebration of the Darumbal peoples’ connection to both their country and ancestors.

“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,” he said.

The transfer recognises their exclusive ownership over parts of the land, as well as their non-exclusive rights to access, conduct ceremonies and teach on the remainder of the lands.

Darumbal elder and Darumbal People Aboriginal Corporation board member George James said the native title included some significant local landmarks – each with their own strong connection to his people’s history.

“The land parcel on Mount Chalmers is near the recently renamed Mount Baga, an area of significant historic events for our people, and Thompson Point at the mouth of the Fitzroy River was a traditional source of food for the Darumbal people,” he said.

He hoped to use the land as means to reconnect with their community’s youths.

“We can sit by a fire and tell stories, hold ceremonies, dance, cook, and get them away from their mobile phones.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga also said the transfer was a significant milestone for the Darumbal people.

“Today is about recognising and celebrating Aboriginal people’s ownership and connection to this land,” Ms Lauga said.

“These land transfers mean the Darumbal people can help future generations keep connection to their culture and to their country.”