Gracevale, a Case Study on Caring for Country and Rediscovery of Culture and Language by the Iningai People in Central West Queensland

Brown, S. M., and Thompson, S. (2020)


Much Indigenous culture has been lost as a result of colonisation, and the current Iningai generation do not speak their language and know little of their history. The Yumbangku Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development Aboriginal Corporation (YACHATDAC) based in Barcaldine has been formed by key members of the Traditional custodian families of the Iningai lands in Central West Queensland. The board is composed of 80% Aboriginal and 20% nonAboriginal members. Gracevale is an 8870 ha property in Central West Queensland owned by YACHATDAC. It will become a sustainable place of education and centre of excellence based on consensus around resolution of reconciliation and teaching, and an important example of Indigenous management in the conservation and extension of culture and best-practice land management in the arid zone of Australia under a changing climate. YACHATDAC is working to rediscover language and the cultural significance of local rock art and ceremonial sites; developing sustainable land-use practices using traditional methods, along with science and technology, to restore degraded land, natural springs and waterways; enhance above- and below-ground biodiversity; and create native fauna reserves. Income streams to support sustainable management of the system are being developed. They include: responsible grazing practice; cultural and ecotourism; a seed bank and commercialisation of native seeds and plants; and use of Gracevale as a living sustainable laboratory for the development and dissemination of knowledge about natural ecosystem functions and processes and the monetisation of ecosystem services. Keywords: Indigenous culture, education, land restoration, income streams, cultural and eco-tourism.