BBN Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc Mossman Gorge Community Tourist Development

Arts Strategy Discussion Mossman Gorge, Kuku Yalanji Trading Floor
Edward Barney, Wilma Walker and family members, Kuku Yalanji Trading Floor

First listed Kuku Yalanji Trading Floor<p>
Each year many hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Port Douglas/Daintree area pass through our community to national park areas on our traditional lands. We are seeking partners to help us develop our community and the infrastructure in the area to ensure that the Kuku Yalanji community becomes more prosperous and independent. In particular we want to move away from the situation where government is the main investor in our community through welfare payments and inadequate grants to our organizations. We want to control our own futures.<p>
<b>Our Businesses</b>: At present our company is comprised of our tourism business which includes Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Tours (KYDT), our visitor centre (art gallery and shop) and manufacturing. Our Bama interpretive guides show small groups of tourists traditional plant use, bark and cave shelters, artefacts and paintings, on a 1 1/2 hour walk through our pristine rainforest. Our visitor centre sells refreshments and artworks made by our Community Development and Employment Program (CDEP) participants (managed by Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc.). <p>In 1996 KYDT won the Queensland Tourism Award for best cultural tourism. We are considering expanding our tourism operations and have previously put proposals to the Douglas Shire Council and the Wet Tropics Management Authority. An example of a proposal we have been working on for many years and have submitted involves our community conducting Aboriginal guided rainforest walks on the Water Reserve.<p>
The Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Tours (KYDT) commenced operations in 1985 and is 100% Aboriginal owned. During a 1-1 hour walk through the rainforest the KYDT interpretive guides show visitor groups traditional plant use, bark and cave shelters, artefacts and paintings. Also part of this venture is a visitor centre (small shop and art gallery), adjacent to the assembly area where the tourist groups are brought back for damper and tea as part of their dreamtime walk.<p>
<b>Company history</b> The current tourism operations were commenced by the Mossman Gorge community in 1985. The community has therefore already accrued more than 15 years experience in tourism operations. However, it was not until the end of 1994 that the community made a concerted effort to upgrade and raise the profile of its tourism operations by undertaking a number of initiatives. KYDT have been consistently recognized for excellence by the tourist industry. KYDT won in 2002 and in May 1996, the Queensland Tourism Award for best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism. They were finalists for the Australian Awards in 2002 and finalists in the Qld awards in 1997. <p>
<b>Goals and potential of venture </b> The community acknowledges the significant economic, cultural and environmental benefits of a well-managed tourism enterprise. However, the community experiences significant negative impacts from the high visitation to the Mossman Gorge Park visitation site. At present the community is dissected by the only road access to the Mossman Gorge Park visitation site. The visitor centre and the communitys administration centre are located on one side of the road with most of the communitys residences on the other side. Any expansion of tourism with out other measures would simply increase the already excessive intrusion upon community life and further loss of privacy.<p>
<b>How will the investment or support you are seeking be used?</b> We want to achieve economic self-sufficiency by managing a sustainable tourism business, thereby generating additional skilled employment opportunities, using local knowledge and facilities. This will in turn provide economic development and diversification both in the community and the region. In the short term: We want to increase revenue from guided walks; and we want to manage our business in a cost-effective manner that will translate into increased profits.<p>
<b>How will the enterprise and investment benefit the indigenous community?</b> Improving the economic base of the community will mean four levels of major improvement to our community: cultural recognition and understanding, improving our social and living environment and improving our physical environment as follows:<p>
<b>Cultural Recognition and Understanding</b>
Mossman Gorge community is located approximately 75 kilometres north of Cairns and four kilometres west of the town of Mossman. The community is located within the Douglas Shire. The community land is a combination of freehold and Aboriginal Reserve - held by the Queensland Government, and managed by Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc. (BBN).<p> We live in an area that is culturally significant to the Kuku Yalanji and we continue to maintain our cultural relationship with the Bubu and Jalun. In May 1995, in order to secure recognition under Australian statutory law, the Kuku Yalanji people registered a Native Title Claim over parts of our traditional land under the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993.<p>
Our stories from the Ngujakura, the dreaming, tell of the creation of all life in Yalanji land and sea country, our Bubu and Jalun. The activities of our ancestral beings at this time are the source of Yalanji law and continue today to run our country and guide our activities and behaviour. At Mossman Gorge, and throughout the Yalanji lands, our management of our country has been greatly impacted by more than a century of European occupation. <p>
The Mossman district was opened to selection of land in 1877. With selection came clearing of the forests, planting of crops and fencing. Mossman developed as a centre for sugar cane production and the economy of this district today is dominated by sugar cane cultivation, fishing, aquaculture and tourism. Our people played an integral role in the success of the sugar cane industry in Mossman (Hill, Griggs and Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc. 2000). However, we were gradually deprived of the use of nearly all our coastal woodlands in the Mossman area as these were converted to sugar cane farms and other forms of non-Indigenous land use.<p>
In 1915, the Chief Protector of Aborigines (Undersecretary of Lands 1915) obtained unconditional leases for the blocks of land that form the current Mossman Gorge community, and they were gazetted as Aboriginal Reserves in 1916. These blocks were completely covered in rainforest when first selected. A Lutheran Church mission was established in Mossman in the 1920s on the Aboriginal Reserve. As a result of various government policies and economic changes, Kuku Yalanji people gradually moved to the Gorge Reserve from their traditional camps at sites like Jinkalmu, Brie-Brie and the Junction on the Mossman River. Many people from the Daintree Mission moved here when it was closed in the 1960s.<p>
Today the Gorge Community is an important centre for Kuku Yalanji culture we have kept our language, tribal identify, and customary law, and have kept contact with our traditional lands throughout the period of non-Aboriginal settlement and the Mission days. Through actions like establishing our Community Rangers, and the Kuku Yalanji Marine Resource Management Committee, we are gaining a greater role in management of all of our Bubu and Jalun, and keeping our culture strong.<p>
<b>Improving our social and living environment </b>
Our community has 127 residents made up of 76 males and 51 females (November 2000 data). The average age of residents is 24 years. Our youngest community member is aged 12 months, the oldest 64 years. There is an average of seven people per house, however in our most overcrowded house there are 16 people. Eighty-six of our bama who live in the Douglas Shire participate in the BBN Community Development and Employment Program (CDEP.<p>
Statistics indicate that the Indigenous population (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) of Douglas Shire are a disadvantaged group in all areas. For example, the unemployment figure for the Indigenous population is almost three times higher than the figure presented for the whole Douglas Shire population, and a higher percentage of Indigenous people who are employed are in part-time or casual work rather than full-time work. The average annual personal income of Indigenous people in the Douglas Shire is only $8,000, which is substantially less than the average annual personal income of $18,000, a figure for the entire Douglas Shire population. Data on life expectancy indicates that both male and female Indigenous people live around 20 years less than the average for the Australian population as a whole (ABS 1998). <p>

Douglas Shire Statistics<p>
<Table><th></th><th>Non-Indigenous</th> <th>Indigenous</th><tr>
<td>Total population</td><td>14,549</td><td>1014</td><tr>
<td>Unemployment rate</td><td>6.5%</td> <td>18.0%</td><tr>
<td>Full-time employment rate</td><td>63.4%</td><td>49.0%</td><tr>
<td>Part-time employment rate</td><td>36.6%</td><td>51.0%</td><tr>
<td>Median personal income</td><td>$18,000</td><td>$8,000</td><tr>
<td>Home-owners</td> <td>35.1%</td> <td>10.3%</td><tr>
<td>Home-buyers</td> <td>13.9%</td> <td>9.7%</td><tr>
<td>Renting</td> <td>40.5%</td> <td>69.0%</td><tr>
<td>Median age</td> <td>36years</td> <td>20years</td><tr>
<td>Full-time study (15yr olds)</td> <td>91.5%</td> <td>73.7%*</td><tr>
<td>Life expectancy (male)</td> <td>77years*</td> <td>57years*</td><tr>
<td>Life expectancy (female)</td> <td>82years*</td> <td>62years*</td></table>
* Data was unavailable for Douglas Shire so the national statistics were used.
Sources : ABS 1998 <p>

<b>Improving our cultural and physical environment</b><p>
Mossman Gorge area is very culturally significantit contains many story places, poison places, sacred sites and the burial sites of many of our ancestors. Jinkalmu, part of which became the Douglas Shire Council gravel pit, is also very important many people lived here before being moved up to the Gorge Reserve. Part of Jinkalmu area is a cemetery and is still used today by the KukuYalanji people. The open forest vegetation in this cemetery is the only remnant of the two large areas of open forest present in Mossman before European occupation, and is managed by Yalanji bush fires, ngalku (Hill et al 2000).
The rainforest environment surrounding our community is culturally and environmentally significant. Our community is located on the border of the Daintree National Park, which forms part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA). The WTWHA includes 900,000 ha of rainforest and associated vegetation communities and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1988. The environment that comprises the WTWHA contains the principal or only habitat for numerous species of threatened plants and rare or endangered animals and includes biota representative of eight major stages of earths evolutionary history (WTMA 1992). However, the rainforest on much of the lowlands surrounding us was cleared for agriculture and urban development.<p>
The Mossman Gorge Park visitation site (within the Daintree National Park) is the second most highly visited site in the WTWHA with between 450,000 and 550,000 people visiting the site annually. The only access to the site is through our community and there are currently no restrictions on public access to the site. Although we are seriously impacted by this high visitation, we receive little benefit (Bentrupperbumer and Reser 2000). An important aspect of this Planning Project has been to examine options for bama management of Mossman Gorge. We would like an arrangement in which our people have stronger on-ground and strategic management roles. We have been working toward greater bama management of Mossman Gorge for many years, an aspect of this has involved working co-operatively with government agencies. We have achieved some significant outcomes including the closure of important cultural sites to visitation. Our community rangers undertake cultural heritage surveys, which help inform local land holders about ways they can manage their land to ensure Aboriginal culture is respected and protected (BBN September 1996).
Describe the environment in which the business would operate including nominating potential competitors, strengths and weaknesses? The position of the Mossman gorge and the Kuku Yalanji people is unique and although currently tourism operators can take advantage of the public space at Mossman gorge, by developing our business ideas, there will be increased, mutual benefits for all.<p>
<b>Will the business or project be owned and managed by indigenous people?</b> Yes<p>
<b>How many indigenous people will be employed by the enterprise?</b> This project would benefit a whole community of 127 people and would have flow on effects for a further 1000 indigenous people in the Douglas shire.<p>
<b>Is the business registered?</b> Yes. ABN 26 904 810 679<p>
<b>Is the business prepared to enter a contract with potential investors to guarantee that any investment will be used strictly for the purposes described above?</b> Not appropriate for this project.<p>
<b>Is the business prepared to accept an investment that involves returning a share of profits to the investor?</b> This may be applicable to parts of the project proposal or development, however, any arrangements of this kind would require negotiations.<p>

For more detailed plans and documents Please contact:
Contact: Damien Britnell
Address: PO Box 171, Mossman, Qld, 4873<p>

Project description: 
Each year many hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Port Douglas/Daintree area pass through our community to national park areas on our traditional lands. We are seeking partners to help us develop our community and the infrastructure in the area to ensure that the Kuku Yalanji community becomes more prosperous and independent.
Lead Organisation: 
Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku Inc
Lead WWW: 

Mentor Type:

Contact Name: 
Damian Britnell
Contact Phone: 
07 40 98 1305
Contact Mobile: 
Contact Fax: 
07 40 98 1834
Contact Email:
Support Type: 
There are potentially several models of investment including venture capital provision, build own operate and transfer operations, joint partnerships and direct equity provision in several of our projects. <p>
Current Partners: 
Douglas Shire Council
Currency Type: 

Funding Amount:


Queensland - Cape York