Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Grants for sea country management announced today

Media release
17 May 2012

The Gillard Government is supporting Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef to undertake projects such as sea country planning, seagrass monitoring, and teaching young people marine science skills.

Eleven Traditional Owner groups will receive Sea Country Partnerships Grants will provided by the Gillard Government's Caring for our Country Reef Rescue Land and Sea Country Indigenous Partnerships Program.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said the grants resourced Traditional Owners to actively protect the cultural and natural heritage values and biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef.

"I'm delighted to support these 11 Traditional Owners groups to undertake environment projects in their sea country and contribute to the sustainable future of the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

"The successful grant recipients have a strong focus on effective sea country management including species conservation, compliance, and developing management plans.

"Traditional Owners will also be involved in recording traditional ecological knowledge, research and monitoring and educating junior reef ambassadors to protect the marine environment.

"There is also a project to rehabilitate wetlands through training and work experience to increase technical skills of a Traditional Owner group.

"These are all excellent projects that will achieve good environmental outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef and good outcomes for the Traditional Owner groups that are involved.

"Traditional Owners have a close connection to the Great Barrier Reef and are important partners in its management. These projects will assist them in continuing their vital role in Reef protection."

The Traditional Owner groups will receive grants of $30,000 to $50,000 for their nominated project. Projects will be completed over the next 12 months.

This is the second round of the Sea Country Partnerships Grants Program, following last year's successful program.

The grants are part of a broader Sea Country Partnerships Program run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.


Attached: Summary of successful grants recipients for the Australian Government's Caring for our Country Reef Rescue Indigenous Land and Sea Country Partnerships Program.

Project Title

Traditional Owner Group

Project Description

Funding recipient

Value of Grant ($)

Coastal wetlands, rehabilitation and management in Juru sea country (lower Burdekin)

Bindal, Juru and Ngaro

Rehabilitating the lower Burdekin wetlands through training and work experience to increase technical skills of the Gudjuda Reference groups' NRM team to preserve the cultural and spiritual values of coastal wetlands for Juru people.

Gudjudu Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation


Munyami Bana Yabanday Monitoring Planning Project

Gimuy Yidinji

The Gimuy Yidinji people taking a more involved approach to monitoring their sea country by participating in monitoring programs such as Seagrass Watch and being involved with research through universities such as James Cook University.

Northern Skills Alliance Incorporated


Eastern Kuku Yalanji Development Project 2012

Eastern Kuku Yalanji

Investigating and documenting Eastern Kuku Yalanji Traditional Owner sea country planning and management aspirations which will be used to determine the most suitable sea country management option to implement.

Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC


Sea Country Knowledge Forum


The forum will form part of the Girringun Indigenous Rangers Conference in September 2012 and will be an opportunity for Sea Country Rangers and Elders to absorb and respond to information about marine science, State and Federal legislation that impacts sea country, species and ecological management options and government support programs.

Girringun Aboriginal Corporation


Junior Reef Ambassadors Program

Jajikal Warra

A team of young people from Weary Bay will become Junior Reef Ambassadors young sea country people with skills in reef science, sea country culture and communications.  The project will include consultation with Jajikal Warra Elders, training, cultural exchange and in-situ reef lessons in marine science.

Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation Pty Ltd


Sea Country and Ranger support

Lama Lama

Vessel maintenance, purchasing safety equipment and coxswain licensing will enable the Lama Lama Rangers to patrol their sea country as part of the continued development of the Lama Lama Sea Country Management Program in Princess Charlotte Bay. The area has significant turtle and dugong populations and seagrass beds.

Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation


Addressing Central Queensland coastal sea country aspirations

Koinjmal and Yuibera

Developing a Sea Country Management Plan will address sea country management issues such as: turtle and dugong management and compliance issues, biodiversity and cultural mapping of country, Traditional Owner involvement in land and sea management and preservation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

Koinmerburra Aboriginal Corporation


Yuku-Baja-Muliku marine training, turtle tagging and support


Yuku-Baja-Muliku people will be prepared to undertake the long-term management of their Traditional sea country.  On completing this project, Yuku-Baja-Muliku rangers and Traditional Owners will be fully trained in the correct procedures and policies of Marine Park management, allowing traditional beliefs to merge with mainstream ideas and creating tight partnerships and strong bonds to protect and conserve the sea country legally and effectively.

Yuku Baja-Muliku Landowner and Reserves Ltd


Yuibera Sea Country Educational Program


The Yuibera Sea Country Educational Program will raise community awareness of issues affecting the Great Barrier Reef, turtles and dugongs. It will also help reduce the effects on sea country by adopting safe practices and policies for industry and community use.  Three specific areas will be targetted: industry, the education system and Indigenous groups and the broader community.

Yuibera Aboriginal Corporation


Wulgurukaba Sea Country Management Plan


The Sea Country Management Plan will outline a future direction for the managing the Wulgurukaba sea country. It will explore issues such as: leadership and governance, monitoring and research, community engagement and partnerships, training and on country management that provides greater capacity for the Wulgurukaba people to take a leading role in the management of their sea country and its biodiversity.

Girringun Aboriginal Corporation


Kuuku Ya'u people sea country management

Kuuku Ya'u (Kanthanampu and Kungkay)

Engaging and building the capacity of the Kanthanampu sub-group utilising existing Kungkay sea country management frameworks and associated hunting authorisation system to achieve a successful Native Title determination and sea country management framework.  It also aims to provide an avenue for training and educating selected hunters in seagrass monitoring techniques and boat licensing.

Kuuku Ya'u Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC