Edmulpa Aboriginal Corporation was established in 1995 to represent the Traditional Owners of Glen Garland and then became the legal entity to hold and manage the Glen Garland Pastoral Lease on behalf of the Traditional Owners, the Olkola People.
In 2009, the Edmulpa Aboriginal Corporation changed its name to the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation, shortly before the Kalinga/Mulkay Land Dealing was finalized and the Mulkay Property was handed back to the Olkola People in 2010 (it became Alwal National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land).
From 2010, the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation has been jointly managing Alwal National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, as well as undertaking it’s leaseholder duties of Glen Garland.
Between 2011 and 2014, a team of Olkola Traditional Owners also negotiated the handback of an additional 5 pastoral properties to the Corporation; Strathmay, Crosbie, Dixie, Wulpan and Killarney, culminating in the Handover of these properties to the Corporation as a mixture of Aboriginal Freehold and jointly managed protected areas in December 2014.
The Corporation now holds and manages 869,822 hectares of Olkola Traditional Lands, and stands as a Corporation that represents the Olkola People of Cape York.
We, the Olkola People, all stand together as one, upholding our traditions and culture with great respect for our old ways. We lead and govern our own traditional lands, business and future. Others will listen to what we are saying and support our ways.
Our ancestors have entrusted us to carry on the traditions and to care for the country and all the animals, plants and foods within. We do not take more than the land can give, so it will provide for generations to come.
Our elders teach the young people language and knowledge of how to protect our sacred sites, artefacts, water places and stories of our land, so they continue to live on for generations to come.
We support each other to live life to the fullest, living a healthy lifestyle, ensuring we have happy homes, good healthcare, and a safe community free of violence and crime.
Photo Shania Ross
The Corporation has a strong foundation in operating land management activities on Olkola owned and managed lands, and is now also developing enterprises such as tourism, cattle management, and carbon farming, and looking to further broaden the activities it undertakes for the benefit of the Olkola People.
Land owner and Land manager.
Through several land ‘hand-backs’, the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation now holds title to and manages a substantial area of the Olkola People’s Traditional Estate, totalling 869,822 hectares, under a range of tenure arrangements, including:
Aboriginal Freehold land
Pastoral Lease (Glen Garland)
National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal land)
Not for Profit Charity
In 2015 Olkola Aboriginal Corporation was registered as a ‘charity’ with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, in acknowledgement of our stated objectives that meet the following categories:
advancing social or public welfare
promoting reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance between groups of individuals that are in Australia
advancing the natural environment; and
public benevolent institution
Registration as a charity provides formal recognition for the important work
that the Corporation is doing for the benefit of the broader community, and allows the Corporation to the Corporation continue with its good work going into the future.
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Body
In Queensland, every land use has a duty of care to take all reasonable and practical measures not to harm Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.
In 2015, the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation became a registered Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Body. This means that if a land user is proposing to disturb land in a way that could potentially harm Olkola’s cultural heritage, they have to speak to the Corporation first. It is then the Corporation’s job to identify the right people to speak for that country to assist the land user in being able taking reasonable measures not to harm Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.
Sunset - Photo Shania Ross, 2019