Mapping Resources to Manage Country Project Nears Completion

4 December 2020

SINCE 2018, QSNTS has been working together with the Boonthamurra People on the Mapping Resources to Manage Country project, an IAS-funded initiative aiming to identify economic development opportunities on Boonthamurra country and connect Traditional Owners to partners who can help bring those opportunities to fruition. As the project nears completion, QSNTS is aiming for a sector-wide rollout that will help Native Title Holders from all over Queensland to make the most of economic development opportunities on country.

Funded by a capacity-building grant from the then Jobs, Land and Economy Program under the portfolio of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Mapping Resources to Manage Country project was launched at a two-day summit co-hosted by the Boonthamurra RNTBC and QSNTS in September 2019. The community summit, which brought Boonthamurra People together to conduct workshop planning toward project implementation, was highly successful with participants reporting a greater understanding of native title, as well as enthusiasm for the potential to leverage rights and interest for the benefit of the wider community.

The project aimed to meet objectives set out in the Boonthamurra RNTBC’s Strategic Plan through the development of grant-specified activities and products. The concept of ‘People, Place and Partnership’ provided the planning framework for three key products to facilitate the short-term, but mostly long-term leveraging of opportunities through the implementation of native title rights and interests. The three key products and the method of implementation are as follows:

  • People (Skills Audit) - Information regarding the skills, experiences and aspirations, including in relation to PBC succession planning  was collected through a skills audit and collated as map of human capital to be linked with employment and other opportunities;
  • Place (Cultural Mapping) - A variety of electronic and hard-copy maps were produced depicting Boonthamurra People and Country, including cultural sites as well as products depicting the location of stakeholders doing business on Boonthamurra Country. Neighbouring Traditional Owners were also mapped with the intent being to work with neighbours to grow a regional Indigenous voice.
  • Partnership (Stakeholder Engagement) - Stakeholder engagement plans and a  PBC website  were developed to promote awareness of the Boonthamurra People, their rights, and their aspirations for their Country and People, as well as the relationships Boonthamurra People wish to build with those living, working and visiting Boonthamurra Country.

Prior to the Summit, an interdisciplinary team of QSNTS staff undertook a review of the connection material relied upon in progressing the Boonthamurra claim to determination, as well as a thorough analysis, using QSNTS’ bespoke agreements database, TraKS, of agreements entered into by the Boonthamurra People during and after the claims phase.

The review of the connection material allowed QSNTS to work with the Boonthamurra People in mapping culturally significant areas to country while the TraKS analysis enabled QSNTS to identify a detailed list of stakeholders on Boonthamurra Country and the opportunities that exist in many agreements which had not been harnessed by the Boonthamurra People.

The Mapping Resources to Manage Country project shows significant promise toward becoming the benchmark for helping advance the native title aspirations of Traditional Owners emerging into the post-determination environment. With reporting on project outcomes submitted to the NIAA in November 2020, QSNTS hopes to see the project expanded to reach Native Title Holders throughout our service region and potentially facilitate regional opportunities for neighbouring PBCs and Native Title Holders.