Case studies

The Girringun Resilience Project

Cyclone Yasi, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation

The Girringun Resilience Program was designed to communicate Indigenous cultural wisdom relating to land and sea management and understanding of disaster preparedness. When Cyclone Yasi hit the coast of North Queensland in 2011, the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and its active community of rangers and artists took a position of leadership in the recovery process and galvanised a devastated community.

The photographs and documentary created through the Girringun Resilience Project shared stories about the recovery that were later presented at the National Rangers Conference.

Fiona Croft, a local photographer and journalist, mentored Debra Murray, a Girringun artist, to carry out the project which was developed through the Creative Recovery Network’s pilot program.

Girringun Aboriginal Corporation is located at Cardwell, half-way between Townsville and Cairns in north-Queensland. The corporation represents the interests of Traditional Owners from nine tribal groups: Bandjin, Djiru, Girramay, Gugu Badhun, Gulnay, Jirrbal, Nywaigi, Warrgamay and Warungnu. Girringun’s vision is to provide sustainable outcomes for its members and the community at large while maintaining and caring for the land and preserving their culture and traditions.

Girringun Aboriginal Corporation has been instrumental in negotiating better land and sea management outcomes, in the process, laying the foundations for other Traditional Owner groups looking to do the same.

The corporation is also helping to preserve the cultural heritage of the Traditional Owners by supporting the talents of their artists and artisans. The many talented artists of Girringun, including weavers, jewellery makers, painters and sculpters, exhibit their artworks at Girringun Arts centre.

Location: Cassowary Coast, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Queensland, Australia

Funding Body: Arts Queensland and Australia Council for the Arts

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