Healthy Country Plan

We Wunambal Gaambera people have made our Healthy Country Plan to help us look after and keep our Country and culture healthy, and build the capacity and wealth of our families to live on and secure futures from our Country.

While the Plan is for ten years to 2020, it is the starting point for our future beyond ten years. In making the Plan, our Elders and young people sat together and came up with our Uunguu Vision to be our goals to reach in ten years time and beyond.

It is our vision that in ten years time:

  • we will be looking after our country in the way of our Wanjina Wunggurr Law
  • we will be living on and making business from our country
  • we will be protecting and sharing our cultural places as our traditional Law says
  • we will be using our traditional knowledge and Western science to care for our country so that no plants and animals are lost
  • we will be respected as the proper owners and managers of Wunambal Gaambera Country
  • we will have ranger stations on country to help us look after country
  • we, and our future generations, will have the cultural knowledge of our elders
  • our country will be giving us and our future generations a healthy life

To help us reach our Uunguu Vision goals, we have chosen ten Targets (most important things) from our Uunguu - living home - to look after. We know that if we look after these Targets we will also look after all other things in our Uunguu.  

sea eagleThe Healthy Country Targets are:

1. Wanjina Wunggurr Law – our culture
2. Right way fire
3. Aamba (kangaroos and wallabies) and other meat foods
4. Wulo (rainforest)
5. Yawal (waterholes)
6. Bush plants
7. Rock art
8. Cultural places on islands
9. Fish and other seafoods
10. Mangguru (marine turtles) and balguja (dugong)

The Plan Starting Point

We did a health check of our ten Targets and found that the overall starting health score for Wunambal Gaambera Country in 2010 is Fair. We know that Wunambal Gaambera Country is one of the few places in Australia where all the plants and animals and landscapes of our Uunguu (biodiversity) are intact and in good health. We found that our cultural health is Poor, pulling our Healthy Country score down to Fair. While our rock art is intact, most of us are not yet living on our Graa to keep traditional knowledge and language strong and to look after our Uunguu day to day. One of our Healthy Country objectives is to improve health from Fair to Good/Very Good by 2020. We will do this by getting back on country and using traditional and modern ways to look after country.

The Health of our Targets and Uunguu

Managing the Healthy Country Plan

Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation (WGAC) has responsibility to Wunambal Gaambera people to implement the Healthy Country Plan. WGAC’s Healthy Country Team, headed by a natural cultural resource management (NCRM) professional (Healthy Country Manager) and the Uunguu Rangers, leads the operations to implement Plan Strategies and activities focused on looking after the Targets, reducing Threats and building Wunambal Gaambera healthy country management capacity. Partners assisting WGAC include Bush Heritage Australia, Australian Government Department of Environment, Kimberley Land Council and Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, providing financial, personnel and technical assistance to the Healthy Country Team.

Management Standards

Wunambal Gaambera people have a Healthy Country strategy to declare Wunambal Gaambera Country the Uunguu Indigenous Protected Area managed to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) standards and registered on Australia’s National Reserve System. The Uunguu IPA commits Wunambal Gaambera people to protect at least 75 percent of Wunambal Gaambera Country and the remainder for multiple-use (e.g. community, communal needs, resource and enterprise use) to provide resources to maintain the protected area, but without conflicting values.

Wunambal Gaambera Healthy Country Plan 2010-20 is the Uunguu IPA plan of management.

Monitoring Progress of the Healthy Country Plan

WGAC has established the Uunguu Monitoring and Evaluation Committee [UMEC] to check on the Healthy Country Plan progress and provide expert advice to the Healthy Country Team. The UMEC has five senior Wunambal Gaambera Traditional Owners and five independent scientists from relevant disciplines. UMEC provides an annual Healthy Country progress report to Wunambal Gaambera people. A mid-term Healthy Country evaluation report was presented to Wunambal Gaambera people in November 2015.