Mel Sheppard

Mel Sheppard


Palawa people speaking for country

It's exciting times, to have Tasmanian Government Departments stepping up to the plate by supporting traditional custodians to speak for country and develop a shared vision for its future use and management. 

In 2021 Conservation Management coached Tasmanian Aboriginal people (palawa / pakana) in the process of facilitating community development of a Healthy Country Plan (HCP) using an internationally developed Conservation Standards process. In a 'learning-by-doing' process, coaching participants worked with fellow community members to develop their first HCP for an area around Recherche Bay.

While other groups in Tasmania, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC), and  Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania (ALCT), have previously used the community-driven HCP process to develop management plans for land held by ALCT, this was the first time Departmental staff of Tasmania's Parks & Wildlife Service and Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania had been given the opportunity to trial the process with community, adapting as needed for their operating context.

The area of this initial case study was chosen by participants, to include a variety of land tenures and non-indigenous stakeholders, as the use and management of all this country impacts the protection of the unique and cultural and natural values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The project represented a huge learning process by all involved, including Conservation Management. Importantly, it began at a time when there is an increasing emphasis on palawa / pakana leadership, engagement and input in management directions across Tasmania’s highly valued cultural landscapes.

Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania recently upload a video for this project to their website, a wonderful introduction to HCP in the Tasmanian context.

Banner Image: Photo credit Alistair Dermer

Photo Credit Mel Sheppard

Photo credit Mel Sheppard


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