Cultural Conservation Enterprises as a Pathway for PBC Autonomy

Thursday, 18 June 2015
Ariadne Gorring
Polly Grace

In the Kimberley, Native Title rights are determined over more than 70% of the region. In this context, the new challenge facing Native Title holders is how Native Title rights can be leveraged to achieve beneficial outcomes for economic development, community resilience and heathy country.

One pathway for facilitating economic opportunities for Native Title holders and their Prescribed Body Corporates (PBC) is the establishment of social enterprises based on the delivery of cultural and conservation management services. Cultural conservation enterprises provide a model under which Native Title holders can pursue economic development in a manner that aligns with cultural values of taking care of country and supports the transmission of traditional knowledge, while also fostering the autonomy of PBCs. 

The Kimberley, nationally and internationally recognised for its natural and cultural values and highly intact biodiversity, provides a unique setting for showcasing the establishment of cultural conservation enterprises. This panel will explore how cultural conservation enterprises can support economic development opportunities for PBCs, drawing on the experience of the Kimberley Ranger Network and North Kimberley Fire Abatement Project. 

Cultural conservation enterprises, like the Kimberley Ranger Network, can deliver a multitude of benefits including increased employment and training, fostering community pride, identity, leadership, and youth engagement, and enhanced biodiversity outcomes. Simultaneously, case studies provide an insight into the challenges faces cultural conservation enterprises in offering competitive service delivery within a market that continues to externalise costs associated with the protection and delivery of cultural activities.