Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley today announced Australian Heritage Grants funding that will protect the cultural and natural values of one of Australia’s most ancient regions, cared for by Indigenous Australians for more than 50,000 years.
$250,000 from the National Heritage Grant’s program will support the development of a Traditional Owner and landholder designed, strategic management plan for the Willandra Lakes region, including Mungo National Park.
Minister Ley made the announcement at Willandra Lakes ahead of a meeting with stakeholders following recent NSW Government public consultation on the proposed reburial of Aboriginal ancestral remains, including Mungo Man and Mungo Lady at Mungo National Park.
The consultation was required after the Minister determined that the proposal should be assessed under national environment law because of the area’s World Heritage significance.
“Willandra Lakes is best known as the landscape that revealed the burial site of Mungo Man and Mungo Lady, providing a rare glimpse into the ancient beliefs and rites of Indigenous Australians,” Minister Ley said.
“Their discovery was a watershed moment for the entire world and one of humanity’s most significant stories of discovery.
“It is important that we invest in the region and in a plan that recognises indigenous responsibility for country and the deep history of the place for traditional owners.
“Importantly, this funding will help to tell the story of Mungo Man and Mungo Lady and why they are so important to the story of humankind, while protecting and preserving the sites for generations to come.”
The heritage project will be led by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
For more information on the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area please link here.