Hundreds of Aboriginal people have gathered in a peaceful protest calling for the Lawn Hill Riversleigh Pastoral Holding Company, located 300kms north of Camooweal in far north-east QLD, to be returned to the Waanyi people.
The protest - led by the Waanyi Prescribed Bodies Corporate Chairman Alec Doomadgee – is calling for 100% Waanyi ownership of the Lawn Hill and Riversleigh pastoral properties. Currently the property is jointly owned but the Waanyi PBC has the majority share.
Agreements and contracts drawn up with the creation of the ‘Lawn Hill Riversleigh Pastoral Holding Company’ state that by now the ownership should be 100% Waanyi owned. The Waanyi Peoples are demanding that these contracts be correctly honoured for multiple reasons. Notably, they want the ability to undertake economic ventures, they want to care for and look after land that has not been cared for correctly, and the Waanyi want to be able to use the land for cultural practices and ceremonies. These things are detrimental to the continuation and reclamation of culture in the area.
The ‘Sitting Rock Protest’ is being held near the farm house where notoriously 40 pairs of Waanyi peoples ears were nailed to a wall, displayed as killing trophies… a dark reminder of the massacre days of Western QLD.
To find out more about the history of the agreements, the Waanyi people, the protest and what its like at Lawn Hill, CAAMA’s Teghan Hughes spoke with Waanyi PBC Chairman - Alec Doomadgee and asked him whats going on...