Custodians remain confident of World Heritage Listing for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape

Custodians remain confident of World Heritage Listing for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape

Traditional Owners and Custodians for Murujuga in the Pilbara region of Western Australia remain unwavering in their support for the Indigenous led nomination for World Heritage Listing of the Murujuga Cultural Landscape.

Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) is made up of Members from five groups –Yaburara, Mardudhunera, Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, and Wong-Goo-Tt-Oo – the Traditional Owners and Custodians who together to care for Murujuga and are referred to collectively as Ngarda-Ngarli.

Commencing in 2018, MAC led the development of the nomination of the Murujuga Cultural Landscape for World Heritage Listing in partnership with the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and with the support of the Australian Government.

Australia submitted the nomination for Murujuga to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in January 2023. The nomination has been accepted by the World Heritage Centre after a minor map clarification and the timing of the assessment will be determined in accordance with the Operational Guidelines.

Comments attributable to MAC Chairperson, Mr Peter Hicks:

“This has always been a long game in the eyes of Ngarda-Ngarli.

“The Murujuga Cultural Landscape – encompassing 100,000ha of the Dampier Archipelago, Burrup Peninsula and surrounding waters and submerged landscapes – has been occupied and governed by generations of our people for more than 50,000 years.

“The World Heritage nomination of the Murujuga Cultural Landscape is the result of Ngarda-Ngarli perseverance over the past 20 years and of our long-held drive to have Ngarda-Ngarli decision-making and governance at the heart of management of Murujuga.

“It is no secret that the timeframe for preparing a World Heritage nomination is a matter of years and that the evaluation and resolution of nominations by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee takes another minimum of 18 months, if not much longer.

“MAC, the State Government and the Commonwealth Government have worked together to ensure that Ngarda-Ngarli retain control over the nomination and any future World Heritage Listing.

“It is important to us that if Murujuga is placed on the World Heritage List that it is done in a manner that reflects the cultural values that are important for us.

“We will not rush that process. World Heritage Listing is only useful for this landscape if it is done right.

“We remain firmly confident today in the outstanding values of the Murujuga Cultural Landscape and hopeful that in time the world will see Murujuga and its significance in the way we do, through the eyes of Ngarda-Ngarli.”

Photo (credit – Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation): Fish petroglyph, Murujuga.

For more information, email: