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Darumbal people celebrate Native Title win after 26 year journey

Joseph Guenzler -

Queensland's Darumbal people have been successfully recognised in Part B of their Native Title claim.

The consent determination hearing, held on Friday, was presided over by the Honourable Justice Rangiah on Darumbal Country at Rockhampton Regional Council City Hall,

The hearing saw Justice Rangiah confirm Darumbal people as Native Title Holders for approximately 10,365 hectares of land.

The determination area encompasses 12 parcels of land, featuring the inclusion of the Princhester Conservation Park, the external boundary of this determination area including both the township of Princhester and Old Marlborough Township.

The Darumbal people initiated their Native Title claim in 1997, embarking on a persistent 26-year journey for the recognition of their rights and interests.

Part A of the Darumbal claim secured consent determination on 21 June 2016 in Rockhampton, while Part B faced challenges due to an overlapping Native Title claim, which was resolved in 2019.

Darumbal people determination area map.

(Image: supplied, Queensland South Native Title Services)

Friday's Part B determination signifies the triumphant conclusion of the Darumbal peoples' claim, offering a chance for the Elders to rest after a long-fought battle.

The applicant group for the claim consisted of six individuals including the late Alan Douglas Hatfield, the late Amanda Meredith, Warren John Malone, Rodney William Mann, Vanessa Ross and Pauline Cora.

Traditional Owner and applicant, Rodney William Mann said he is relieved the hard work has finally paid off, with his generation able to take some well deserved time to relax and celebrate.

"We are very relieved today, it's sad that not all of us can be here but there's been a big weight lifted off of our shoulders," he said.

"All of the hard yards have been done but we turn another page now as we hand our culture, experiences and our stories to the younger generation.

"So it's their turn to take our stories and run with the baton and now us older generation can relax."

Darumbal people celebrate a hard-fought determination, which was made on Friday. (Image: Joseph Guenzler)

The Native Title holders are comprised of individuals who meet specific criteria.

These include being descendants of deceased persons and those recognised by the living Darumbal people, including brothers John McPherson or Harry Bauman, Kate Reid and James Hector, Clara McKenzie, Jack Naylor (Jnr), Maria McKenzie, Clara Wallace, Mundabel, Mary Jones, Maggie (Mitchell), Yorky, or Kitty Mulway and Pompey of Stanage.

The Native Title rights and interests granted include a non-exclusive right to access, be present on, move about, and travel over the designated area.

This includes camping and temporary living and allowing the construction of temporary shelters.

The rights further extend to hunting, fishing, and gathering for personal, domestic, and non-commercial communal purposes on both land and waters within the area.

The Native Title holders are also authorised to take and share natural resources, use water, conduct ceremonies, bury fellow Native Title holders, maintain and protect significant places, teach physical, cultural, and spiritual attributes, hold meetings, and light fires for personal and domestic purposes, excluding hunting or clearing vegetation.

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