Olkola’s journey to independence

Thursday, 2 June 2016
Michael Ross
Karrell Ross
Debbie Symonds
Amanda Hogbin

The Olkola Aboriginal Corporation was successful in securing one of the largest transfers of Aboriginal freehold land in Australia’s history when legal title for 5 pastoral properties, totalling over 700,000 hectares, was handed back to the Olkola people in December 2014.

This has established the Olkola people as the largest private landholder in Cape York, as joint management partners with Queensland Parks in the largest new protected area in Queensland, and allowed the Olkola people to develop on of the largest and most successful savannah burning carbon abatement projects in Australia.

Currently they are developing tourism opportunities, pastoralism, fee for service activities and working with not for profit and research organisations to provide an economic base to establish a community for the Olkola people to come home to country.

They are currently part of the largest Native Title Claim in Australia, the United Cape York Claim, which covers almost all of the unclaimed and undetermined areas of Cape York.

Their journey has not been one of waiting for a determination, they have asserted their traditional rights in all their dealings with government, not for profit and commercial partnerships to secure an economic base which supports strong culture, strong country and a strong future for all Olkola people.