On 27 August 2018, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) and the Western Australian Government announced that World Heritage Listing would be pursued for Murujuga Cultural Landscape, meeting two decades of aspiration of Murujuga Traditional Owners and Custodians.
The first step in the process was preparation of a Tentative List Submission. This is a short, overview document which outlined why Murujuga should be considered for the World Heritage List and under what selection criteria Murujuga should be assessed.
In January 2020, the Tentative List Submission for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape was formally transmitted by the Australian Government to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in January 2020, and subsequently added to Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List Australia’s World Heritage Tentative List.
The second step is preparation of a Nomination Dossier – a comprehensive document which consists of detailed information that substantiates the application for World Heritage Listing. Being an extensive document, it can take two to three years or more to complete.
The nomination for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape was submitted by the Australian Government to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in January 2023. Read more here.
The effective management of World Heritage Listed properties
World Heritage Listing comes with the responsibility to protect, conserve, and manage the ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ of World Heritage Listed places. The Murujuga Cultural Landscape is comprehensively managed and protected under a system comprising Aboriginal customary knowledge and practices at the local level, combined with joint management agreements, statutory management plans and complementary policies, strategies and programs, supported by Australian and Western Australian legislation.
A strategic management framework has been developed, which synthesises and consolidates management arrangements for the nominated property. The Murujuga Cultural Landscape Strategic Management Framework outlines the suite of legislative and other measures that are in place across all levels of government to ensure the highest level of protection for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape. It has been endorsed by the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and the Australian and Western Australian governments. It ensures there is a consistent, coordinated, and integrated management approach across all parts of the property, reflecting Ngarda-Ngarli philosophy of Ngaayintharri Gumawarni Ngurrangga (We all come together for country).
MAC has led the World Heritage nomination process in partnership with the Western Australian Government, in particular the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
At MAC, we want to ensure that the meaning of Murujuga to the Aboriginal Custodians of the land is expressed in a culturally appropriate, sensitive, and respectful manner. The deeply felt connection to country of our members, both young and old, and their aspirations for it are be emphasised in MAC’s Nomination Dossier for World Heritage Listing.
While MAC is the most representative group of people with cultural authority for Murujuga, it is acknowledged that no single organisation represents all Aboriginal interests or points of view for Murujuga. Those who are not part of MAC have been encouraged to participate in the World Heritage nomination process by providing comment and contributing to other appropriate forums.