Pictured are (from left) North Queensland Cultural Heritage’s Michele Bird, LDC project manager Lisa Hutchinson, Birriah cultural officer Algon Walsh and Glen Bowen Station owner Christian Cormack.
A cultural heritage survey and impact assessment was completed on Glen Bowen in consultation with the Birriah People to address NQ Dry Tropics’ obligations and cultural heritage duty of care under the Queensland Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (ACHA).
Aboriginal cultural heritage surveys are conducted to identify places in the landscape which contain or embody Aboriginal heritage values, not just sites.
Michele Bird, of North Queensland Cultural Heritage Pty Ltd was commissioned, and endorsed by Birriah Cultural Heritage Services, as technical advisor and project archaeologist to assist the Birriah People in coordinating a cultural field survey of planned remediation sites.
Representatives who attended the fieldwork on Glen Bowen:
- Birriah cultural officers Algon Walsh and Paul Walsh.
- North Qld Cultural Heritage’s Michele Bird (technical advisor and archaeologist).
- Glen Bowen Station landholder Christian Cormack.
- NQ Dry Tropics’ LDC representatives Lisa Hutchinson and Sheyanne Frisby.
A total of 16 stone artefacts were located at Gully 1 (the current remediation site) and included flaked material such as primary, secondary and tertiary flakes, flake fragments and other fragments. A total of seven stone artefacts were located at Gully 2, earmarked for future remediation.
The majority of the artefacts did not appear to be in-situ at the time of their discovery due to the environmental conditions and erosion. The assessment concluded there were no impediments to accessing or traversing the project footprint.
Senior Birriah representative Algon Walsh and Glen Bowen Station landholder Christian Cormack agreed that Christian would hold the artefacts ‘on country and on homelands’ at Glen Bowen Station.
The Landholders Driving Change project acknowledges the positive and cooperative working relationship that existed between the Birriah People and the landholder during the cultural survey and assessment process.
Both parties acknowleded having the same aims in repairing land, controlling erosion and better caring for country.
The Birriah cultural officers note that this project is an unusual one for them to be involved in because it is not a development project. Most projects they work on are triggered by major developments such as mining and infrastructure projects.
Algon Walsh and Paul Walsh said they enjoyed working collaboratively with NQ Dry Tropics’ LDC team on a project where the aim of all parties was to repair, restore and to better manage the land.
Michele Bird of North QLD Cultural Heritage Pty Ltd was commissioned by NQ Dry Tropics and endorsed by Birriah Cultural Heritage Services, as technical advisor and project archaeologist to assist the Birriah People in coordinating a cultural field survey and assessment of the remediation project area at Glen Bowen. She is pictured here, wearing a pink shirt, with LDC project manager Lisa Hutchinson.