Mutawintji is a place of green grass and rock water holes surrounded by the beautiful Byngnano ranges and steeped in rich cultural history.
The Mutawintji Local Aboriginal Land Council Chairperson Leroy Johnson says the board and its membership want to build a tourism enterprise and to increase employment.
“Our vision for our tourism business is to make it sustainable. We’ve got a place to show people and we want to show people from all walks of life.”
Located 130 Kilometers northeast of Broken Hill, it belongs to the Malyangapa, Wilyakali, Wanyuparlku and Pantjikali people.
Mutawintji was the first National Park to be handed back to traditional owners in NSW in September 1998. It was immediately leased to National Parks and is now jointly managed.
15 years earlier in 1983, traditional owners blockaded the park to protect it from vandalism and most importantly to preserve the heritage sites.
Traditional owner and senior tour guide Gerald Quayle has been taking tours at Mutawintji for years and he’s now training up a new generation of tour guides.
“It’s very important because they are going to be the next generation of people that’s going to look after country and it’s very important that they going to learn how to look after country according to our Aboriginal Laws”
Neil Elwood is one of five young men who recently went through a tourism training program supported by the Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise through its RJCP… or Remote Jobs Community Program
“To learn about my culture, make me feel proud and strong and make me feel good about myself” he said.
For Mutawintji Land Council, building their economy is about empowering local mob…
And although the Mutawintji Land Council is only in their early stages of setting up the tourism business, it’s something they hope to sustain for many years to come.