Traditional owners gathered at Nambucca Heads on the north coast of New South Wales to celebrate the dedication of the Gumma Indigenous Protected Area.
The IPA is beautiful country, from its sandflats, saltmarshes and mangroves to the old growth eucalypt forest dominating its centre, providing shelter for many mammals including the squirrel glider, yellow bellied glider and micro bats.
Baga Baga traditional owner Conway Marshall said that management of the landscape was embedded in Gumbaynggirr culture.
“We still use this area and maintain our connection to this sacred and culturally significant place. For our people Mimi Waga (Mother Earth) is central to our beliefs. She is a living entity, sustaining all life and organising the balance between ecosystems. Gaagal (the sea) is our totem,” he said.
Gumma is Australia’s 49th Indigenous Protected Area. Today there are over 50 Indigenous Protected Areas conserving more than 26 million hectares across Australia. For more on Indigenous Protected Areas click here.