The Southeast Asian Times


Australian indigenous eco-cultural tourism venture wins best small project national award

By Christine Howes

Brisbane, October 2: Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation’s (MYAC’s) East Trinity was recognised by the Planning Institute of Australia as the nation’s best ‘small project’ idea at their 2020 Awards for Planning Excellence during a virtual awards ceremony last week.

MYAC Indigenous Protected Area, Tourism and Infrastructure Manager Dewayne Mundraby said it was inspirational to see the Mandingalbay Yidinji Eco Cultural Tourism Infrastructure Project win the national award, particularly in this year of Indigenous Tourism 2020.

He said the judges noted it was: “a standout project that exemplifies true innovation, originality, transferability and engagement”.

“It provides an exemplary example of delivering cultural and ecotourism facilities that marries indigenous cultural knowledge and visioning with contemporary engineering, science, planning and traditional owner land management,” they said.

Mr Mundraby said they were very excited.

“The Mandingalbay Yidinji (MY) People are very excited and humbled to receive this prestigious national award, which complements our Queensland State Award for the same category in 2019,” he said.

“This achievement will heighten our exposure and viability in seeking further investment to complete the next five stages in accordance with the approved Development Application.”

He said Stage 1 was scheduled to get underway at the end of October this year, securing employment for five MY Indigenous positions.

“Going forward, there are several milestones to achieve, including, primarily, the rejuvenation of Indigenous tourism in the Far North post-Covid-19,” he said.

He said the MYAC and Djubunji Ltd. Board of Directors wished to thank:
- our staff who have been instrumental in implementing the Mandingalbay Yidinji Peoples vision through this project development;

- our Project Partners for their professionalism and innovation with special mention to Ethos Urban, Philip Follent Architects, CC Change Sustainable Solutions, BMT Global, Bligh Tanner, Bennett and Bennett;

- our funding partners the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, National Indigenous Australians Agency and the Queensland Government for financially supporting our vision and aspirations for our people, country and culture through a funding application-based process,

- our local State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt and retiring Minister Kate Jones (who will be sorely missed), and

- our award sponsor, The Comms Team, and the Planning Institute of Australia for this Award and recognition.

“Most importantly we acknowledge and thank the Mandingalbay Yidinji People for their perseverance and grit through challenging and uncertain times,” he said.

“The work we have done together has created a strong foundation and collaborative framework for socio-economic development that will translate into jobs and infrastructure.

“Our aims are to create economic independence and prosperity for our people and the wider community of Yarrabah whilst keeping the environmental and cultural values of our country intact.”

The Southeast Asian Times October 2, 2020