Park’s name change recognises connection to Country for Tagalaka People

Published Thursday, 04 July, 2024 at 01:30 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Innovation
The Honourable Leanne Linard

Watercourse in Tagalaka National Park
Watercourse in Tagalaka National Park
  • Littleton National Park near Croydon in north west Queensland has been officially re-named Tagalaka National Park.
  • The name change acknowledges the strong connection between the Traditional Owners, the Tagalaka People, and the protected area, which features many culturally significant sites.
  • Tagalaka National Park provides critical habitat for threatened and protected species including the black-throated finch and the painted honeyeater.
  • The park is co-managed by the Tagalaka People, who will soon begin various projects to protect and manage this environmentally and culturally-significant area.

The Miles Government is recognising the Tagalaka People’s connection to Country by officially changing the name of Littleton National Park to Tagalaka National Park.

Tagalaka [pronounced: Tag-ah-lack-ah] is the traditional name used by the native title holders for the area which includes the national park near Croydon.

Tagalaka National Park covers 79,444 hectares of pristine woodlands, open grasslands and a range of significant wetlands, providing critical habitat for endangered species including the Gouldian finch, the vulnerable painted honeyeater and the black-throated finch. 

The park features multiple Aboriginal cultural sites including camps, art sites and culturally significant locations and artefacts, and its natural values are of great cultural significance to the Tagalaka people.

Changing the name of the park to the preferred name for the area by the Tagalaka people not only recognises the Traditional Owners’ connection to Country, their stories, culture and history, but also encourages visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the significant cultural value of the park.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) works closely with the Traditional Owners to care for the estate in line with the Indigenous Land Use Agreement between the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation and the Tagalaka Aboriginal Corporation.

The change of the national park’s name coincides with the start of various projects led by the new Tagalaka Land and Sea Ranger team, whose work will include the preservation of the environmental and cultural values of the park.

The new ranger team is supported by the DESI-led Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program.

Their upcoming projects include undertaking rehabilitation and protection of the various cultural sites within the national park, as well as working in partnership with QPWS staff to conduct early season planned burns which integrate cultural burning techniques in line with the Tagalaka National Park fire management program.

The rangers will also work in partnership with QPWS to carry out plant health checks, as well as strategic management of weeds and feral pigs to promote a healthy environment across the protected area.

The name change of Tagalaka National Park followed community consultation between October and December last year.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leanne Linard:

“Using the First Nations Language name for Tagalaka National Park acknowledges and celebrates the connection of First Nations people to the land.

“This connection is deep and ongoing and proudly supported by the Miles Government through programs and opportunities such as the Land and Sea Ranger program, which facilitates First Nations people to care for Country.

“Our Government is proud to recognise Indigenous languages through iconic place names, in the spirit of truth-telling and reconciliation.”

Quotes attributable to Tagalaka Aboriginal Corporation General Manager, Alfred Owens regarding the re-naming ceremony held On Country yesterday:

“The ceremony was a celebration of all the hard work achieved between Tagalaka Aboriginal Corporation, the Tagalaka people and QPWS, but more importantly it’s an event that celebrates and continues to recognise the Tagalaka People as the Traditional Custodians of the country in which this National Park is situated.

“It’s a celebration for our ancestors, our elders, and our previous Chairs, our previous Directors and all the Tagalaka People that worked so hard, that made sacrifices to lay the foundations for us to be here today.

“This ceremony is another milestone on our journey towards self-determination for Tagalaka people.”

Further information:

Images of Tagalaka National Park

Tagalaka National Park contains regionally significant palustrine wetlands and straddles two bioregions (Einasleigh Uplands and Gulf Plains bioregions) at the convergence of arid and tropical climates.

The local wetlands and waterways contribute significantly to the biodiversity of the park while providing habitat for a range of species of conservation significance including nationally recognised migratory birds.

The Tagalaka People hold non-exclusive native title over the national park.

An Indigenous Land Use Agreement between the Tagalaka People and the department formalises the collaborative working relationship.


Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339