About Our Land

Murujuga, meaning “hip bone sticking out” in the Ngarluma-Yaburara language, refers to Murujuga land and sea ‘country’ (a traditional area of land or water) and consists of a narrow peninsula of land as well as 42 islands located near the town of Dampier in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Aboriginal people have a deep and spiritual connection to their ngurra or traditional ‘country’. For Australian Aboriginal people, the land and the people are connected, both physically (by living on the land) and spiritually (through traditional lore and culture). There is the belief amongst Australian Aboriginal people that if ‘country gets sick’ (damaged, degraded, polluted) then they too will become ill, and might even die. By protecting the land, the people are also protected. Everyone is responsible for looking after ngurra or ‘country’, even the non-Indigenous people who now live and work in the area.

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Rock Art Strategy

With an estimated one to two million petroglyphs (rock art engravings), Murujuga is home to one of the largest, densest and most diverse collections of rock art in the world, and is of continuing cultural and spiritual significance to the Traditional Owners and Custodians. It also has significant state, national and international heritage value. Representing the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Murujuga, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation is working in partnership with the Government of Western Australia in the ongoing protection of Murujuga’s rock art.

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In 2003, the Burrup and Maitland Industrial Estates Agreement (BMIEA) was reached between Aboriginal Traditional Custodians (from three Native Title Determination Applications) and the WA Government. These Native Title Claimant Groups became the ‘Contracting Parties’ under the BMIEA agreement. Upon ratification of the BMIEA, the three Contracting Parties received land entitlements and financial benefits as compensation for surrendering their native title claims over the Burrup. The Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) was established as the approved body corporate for the BMIEA. MAC oversees the implementation and contractual obligations of the BMIEA.

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Murujuga National Park

Murujuga was declared a National Park on 17 January 2013. It became the 100th National Park in Australia. Murujuga National Park covers an area in excess of 5,134ha on the Burrup Peninsula. It is privately owned by the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and jointly managed with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions – Parks and Wildlife Service.

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Joint Management

Joint management of Murujuga National Park is required under the terms of the Burrup and Maitland Industrial Estates Agreement. The rangers of the Murujuga Land and Sea Unit, together with officers of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions – Parks and Wildlife Service, manage the National Park, as well as the surrounding sea country and islands of the Dampier Archipelago.

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Cultural Management Plan

The Murujuga Cultural Management Plan 2015 (MCMP) is the culmination of a two-year, intensive project undertaken by Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, Murujuga Land and Sea Unit and Urban Design Landscape Architects. The purpose of the MCMP is to bring together the cultural, historical, and environmental knowledge of the five traditional Aboriginal language groups of the area.

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