In 1998 Traditional Owners from the Nipapanha (formerly Nepabunna) community in South Australia became the first Indigenous people to dedicate their Country as an Indigenous Protected Area.
At this time the 58,000 hectares of rugged Country on Adnyamathanha lands was in a state of decline.
Today Nantawarrina is a leading example of replenishment thanks to the constant efforts of Indigenous rangers and Adnyamathanha men and women who have replanted native vegetation, removed feral animals and helped to preserve the native species.
In 2023 there are IPAs across Australia, spanning a combined area of over 87 million hectares of land and 5 million hectares of sea Country.
Former Aboriginal Lands Trust CEO, John Chester, helped coordinate the Nantawarrina 25th Anniversary celebration in September and commended the community for its continued management of the IPA.
“Since the beginning these young fellas have been out there mustering goats, managing pest plant control and liaising with various agencies,” Mr Chester said.
“25 years down the track those young fellas who were riding horses and motorbikes out there mustering are out there still – it’s been 25 years of full-time employment which has kept the young fellas in the community and keeps things vibrant.
Listen here to our interview with John Chester and Gerry Butler about the journey so far.