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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Anthony Lynham

    Paroo River people reclaim their lands

    Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
    The Honourable Anthony Lynham

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Paroo River people reclaim their lands

    For 81-year-old Budjiti Elder Ruby Eulo, today’s Federal Court determination near Cunnamulla will mean her culture can continue to grow on her people’s traditional lands in the state’s far south-west.

    Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham today announced native title determination no. 119 in Queensland over about 11,002 square kilometres of land and waters southwest of Cunnamulla.

    For Ruby, the awarding of native title rights meant future generations of Budjiti people can be taught how to care, nurture and live off of the country to enable their heritage, customs and beliefs to continue.

    “As an Elder of the Budjiti Tribe, recognition of Native Title will have a significant effect on me as this land is very much a part of me as I am from this land,” she said.

    “My blood runs through my country.

    “I feel it when I re-tell my people’s stories. I feel it when I am sitting where my old people used to sit. It means more to me than words can describe.”

    Dr Lynham said the Paroo River held great significance to Budjiti People.

    According to Ruby’s 67-year-old blood nephew Philip, acknowledged by elders as her son, Paroo is a Budjiti word that means river or waterhole.

    Philip said the river gave the Budjiti People their identity as Paroo River people and was the home of their language.

    “The sacred Caiwarro waterhole is the heart of our country with many important cultural heritage sites located in the landscape and in the water,” he said.

    “It is the home of our ancestral being, the Muddhaguddha, and holds the memory of our ancestors, our stories and our traditions. It is our home.”

    Ruby said another important area was the Two Lakes.

    “The Lakes are where I helped my mother as a young girl to collect food such as duck eggs,” she said.

     “This is where I learnt about my people, my culture and traditions.”

     Dr Lynham said today’s determination formally recognised the Budjiti People’s non-exclusive native title rights and interests over their traditional lands including the towns of Eulo and Hungerford.

    “Today’s determination formally acknowledges the Budjiti People’s ancient and on-going use of their country to camp, hunt,fish,gather,protect, teach andconductceremonies inaccordance with traditionallaw,” he said.

     “The Queensland Government has negotiated with the Budjiti People to reach this historic agreement and a Protected Area Indigenous Land Use Agreement to manage the exercise of native title rights and interests in the Currawinya National Park.”

     ENDS 23 June 2015

     Media contact:           Jan Martin     3719 7370       0439 341 314