Lama Lama People are the traditional owners of a vast landscape on the east coast of Far North Queensland, Princess Charlotte Bay area in Cape York.

This country is home to an array of plant and animal species, some endangered and vulnerable habitats and species forming a high value coastal corridor.  Boasting rugged gorges, rives, sandy plateaus, grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, coastal estuaries, mangroves and mudflats, our Lands are recognised as having significant conservation and cultural values, a rich and diverse landscape neighbouring the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef.

Within this traditional estate we jointly manage four National Parks with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service under an Indigenous Management Agreement.

A significant history for all Cape York People

The Cape York Peninsula Tenure Resolution Program (under the coordination of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships) returned ownership and management of identified lands on Cape York Peninsula to local Aboriginal people, so that land with outstanding environmental and cultural values is better protected in National Parks and Nature Refuges.

Through the program land owned by the State was converted to Aboriginal Freehold land – allowing Traditional Owners to return to live on country and pursue employment and business opportunities. Environmentally and culturally significant areas are now jointly managed as National Parks – Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Lands (CYPAL) and/ or Nature Refuges providing for conservation, recreation and tourism. The program also allows for the conversion of existing National Park to CYPAL.

CYPAL Lands are owned by Traditional Owners and manage in partnership with the Queensland Government as National Parks. An Indigenous Management Agreement governs how the park is to be jointly managed and sets out the responsibilities of the State Government and Aboriginal Land Trust or Corporation.

In 1992 Lama Lama People were one of two claimants under Queensland Government law for Lakefield National Park and shortly after that the Cliff Islands National Park land claim. For Lakefield we made claim to the northern end of the park, the saltpan country as the remaining lands within the park, belonged to other clan groups. However, the Cliff Islands land claim only involved our Lama Lama Clan group and included Islands offshore to the Stewart River estuary. Both these claims were successful and a statutory instruction was given to establish joint management arrangements through joint management boards and management plans.

However it was not until several years later that Lama Lama became recognised as the rightful owners of these estates and the statutory requirements were met.

  • In June 2008 the Queensland Government agreed to return three parcels of land formally referred to as Running Creek, Binyo Timber Reserve 3 and Lilyvale Station to the Lama Lama People. This agreement made history, establishing the first jointly managed National Park on Aboriginal Freehold land in Queensland – Lama Lama National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) and paved the way for all future negotiations and transfers.
  • The KULLA (McIlwraith) National Park was first declared Mount Croll Reserve (reserve for environmental purposes) on 17 February 2006 under the Land Act 1994 before becoming KULLA (McIlwraith Range) National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) and KULLA (McIlwraith Range) Resources Reserve on 8 August 2008. Lama Lama are one of the four groups who now manage this park in partnership with the Queensland Government.
  • Followed in 2009 by the conversion of Marpa Islands National Park (Cliff Islands National Park) and the transfer of ownership to the Lama Lama Land Trust. This transfer established the first jointly managed National Park Island in Queensland.
  • Originally dedicated as Lakefield National Park in 1975, to conserve rich wetlands, their catchments and many cultural values (including occupational and ceremonial sites). The land (544,000 hectares were transferred to Aboriginal freehold land held by the Rinyirru (Lakefield) Land Trust and dedicated as Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL) in 2011. Again Lama Lama are one of a number groups represented by the Rinyirru Land Trust.

Lama Lama People would like to acknowledge the partnership between us and the Queensland Government – Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Through this continued partnership we are confident in the joint effort to best protect and conserve our country and cultural heritage.