Perceptions of the country
Original inhabitants
Before European contact
First contact with Europeans
After European contact
Native Title Today

Coming full circle: Native Title today

Largely displaced from their lands by the European settlers, starting with the first pastoral occupation in the early 1870s, the Badimia and other traditional groups have been forced to adapt to the consequent impacts on their culture and relationships with the land. These relationships are however being rekindled as land is purchased on their behalf. Pastoral leases, such as Ninghan, has been purchased by the Indigenous Land Council. The Badimia people have also been invited to be involved in the management of former pastoral stations now operated as conservation reserves, such as Department of Environment and Conservation properties and Charles Darwin Reserve.

This return to the land reflects the long evolution of Native Title rights and the process of reconciliation. It also acknowledges that Traditional Owners have an understanding of country which complements the scientific approach and adds a rich layer of meaning for people who are strangers to the spiritual and cultural values of the land.

The Badimia Native Title Claim has been registered with the Federal Court. The area registered covers the area from north of Mt Magnet to the edge of the cleared farmland south of Charles Darwin Reserve and Mt Gibson Sanctuary. The Badimia people are part of a larger group of people, the Yamatji, associated with much of the Yalgoo and Murchison regions to the north of Charles Darwin Reserve.

Other groups also have connections with the area. The Widi Mob Native Title claim that has not yet met all the conditions for registration, extends into the area from the west, covering the country of interest from Mongers Lake to Lake Moore. The Widi Mob is also a Yamatji group.

The Widi Binyardi’s claim also extends from the west into the area, crossing Mongers Lake into Wanarra Station but stopping at about the western boundary of Charles Darwin Reserve.

The Mongers Lake to Lake Moore area is also at the northern end of Kalamaia country that stretches to the south east.

Finally, the Ballardong People, part of the Nyoongar-speaking association of tribes of the South West lays claim to the Wheatbelt areas south and east of our area of interest and has strong cultural links with the Lake Moore area.

These overlapping interests in the area confirm the variations in what were described by previous generations of anthropologists as the tribal and linguistic boundaries of the southern part of Western Australia. It is based on little field work and an emphasis on describing languages and customs rather than country.

Bush Heritage Australia Logo