The Jawoyn people have occupied and managed land in the Katherine and West Arnhem Land region for more than 40,000 years.
It is only in the last 150 years that traditional land management practices have been disrupted with the introduction of clearing of land for grazing, agriculture, mining and urban development and the spread of exotic plants and animals.
Since 1985, the Jawoyn have been progressively increasing their capacity to manage and maintain their country to enhance cultural and environmental values and to accommodate sustainable human use.
The Jawoyn jointly manage Nitmiluk National Park with the Northern Territory Government, we have a successful ranger program, we use our traditional practices of burning small fires across our country to reduce the impact of wildfires and to regenerate the land. We also work to minimise the environmental devastation caused by feral animals and weeds.
Jawoyn country has a large number of endangered and vulnerable birds such as the Gouldian Finch, the Crested Shrike Tit, the Hooded Parrot, the Emu and at least seven plant species of Boronias that are vulnerable.
At the same time, our country is heavily infested with feral animals such as buffaloes, horses, donkeys and pigs.
'Caring for Country' means a deep spiritual attachment to the land, to creation beings, plants and animals, to the source of rules for living and stories, to dance, songs and art.
As part of our commitment to land management, we are in the process of establishing an Indigenous Protected Area or IPA over all of Jawoyn country. Dedicating Jawoyn lands as an Indigenous Protected Area will formalise 'caring for country' responsibilities and further build the capacity of the Jawoyn people to protect and enhance cultural and environmental values.
For more information please contact the Cultural and Environment Manager Ray Whear on (08) 8971 2354 or the Land Management and Ranger Coordinator Ian McConnell on (08) 8972 5400.