Ipswich, which is known traditionally in the Yagara language as Tulmur, has been home to Aboriginal people since before the beginnings of recorded European settlement. Aboriginal peoples owned, had sovereignty over and cultivated the lands, waters, flora and fauna of Ipswich. Aboriginal peoples mapped the terrain and the stars, made laws and held Government and maintained their connection to their country through song, dance, language and stories.

Ipswich City Council acknowledges the ongoing challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognises the importance of community and government coming together to achieve the best outcomes for the Ipswich community.

In 1995, Ipswich City Council committed to, with the support of respected community members, formulating a Reconciliation Initiative which became the Ipswich City Council Indigenous Australian Accord Working Party. Subsequently, the original Accord (the 1995 Accord) was developed, guiding how Ipswich City Council and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community would work together on shared issues and on a common agenda for change. The 1995 Accord initiative was awarded the Australian Reconciliation Award (Government Category) in May 1997 by the then Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and was formally adopted by Ipswich City Council in July 1998.

Building on the foundations laid by the 1995 Accord (and the subsequent 2015–2018 Accord), Council endorsed a new Accord in June 2020:

The Indigenous Accord 2020-2025 is Ipswich City Council’s strategic framework for reconciliation and community governance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their communities. It contains targeted and specific actions and sets the agenda for cooperation, collaboration and partnership between Ipswich City Council and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Accord is structured into seven themes identified by the Ipswich City Council Indigenous ACCORD working group:

  1. Cultural Recognition, Respect and Community Engagement
  2. Traditional Owners
  3. Employment, Education and Skills Development
  4. Business Development
  5. Housing
  6. Health and Wellbeing
  7. Community Safety

Each them begins with a preamble statement and then details the outcomes, actions, timeframes and responsibilities under each theme.

Theme 2. Traditional Owners

The Traditional Owners of the Ipswich region are the Clans that identify as being a part of the Yagara/Yugara Language Group (the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul People).

This Accord recognises and acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the regions and places of Ipswich as the custodians of the land whose connection to country has been over tens of thousands of years.  This Accord recognises and acknowledges the rights of the Traditional Owners to be a central stakeholder in decision-making about the lands, regions, places and natural resources of Ipswich.  This Accord provides a mutual responsibility that the cultures, customs, traditions, heritage, languages and stories of the Traditional Owners are preserved, encouraged, promoted and celebrated.

Outcome: 2.5 Council implements policies and cultural protocols with guidance from the Traditional Owner Representative Steering Committee

Action:  Council and the Traditional Owner Representative Steering Committee collaboratively develops policies and cultural protocols

Traditional Land Access Strategic Policy (PDF, 396.9 KB)

Traditional Land Access Strategic Permit
Council will allow access to culturally significant locations via a Traditional Owners Land Access Permit for the purpose of enabling traditional land use activities by the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul People. Locations that have been pre-approved for such use include:

  • Cameron's Scrub Reserve
  • Camira Bora Grounds
  • Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate
  • Kholo Bridge Reserve
  • Mount Grandchester Conservation Estate
  • Redbank Rifle Range Reserve
  • White Rock-Spring Mountain Conservation Estate

A number of cultural practices have been identified:

  • Education: passing on traditional knowledge and practices
  • Harvesting: (collecting leaves, branches, bark, stone and/or ochre) for basket weaving, painting, traditional dancing or making didgeridoos, coolamons, stone tools, etc.
  • Hunting/food resources: collecting edible items
  • Men’s business
  • Women’s business
  • Yarning circle: place to share knowledge, culture and stories
  • Traditional Cooking (Kupmurri): permitted at Hardings Paddock (permanent Kupmurri cooking pit).

To apply for a permit to access one of the locations above please complete and submit the form below (Please note that a minimum of 10 business days is required for application processing):