Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Great Barrier Reef and it’s catchment.

Traditional Owners hold inherent rights, interests, and obligations to protect and care for their Country.

There are over 70 Traditional Owner groups along the Queensland coastline whose traditional estates extend over the Great Barrier Reef and many more groups whose customary estates form part of the Reef’s Catchment.

Traditional Owner connections with the Great Barrier Reef extend over many thousands of years. It is a rich cultural land and sea-scape and Traditional Owners continue to be actively involved in the management of their Country.

The Reef was declared a Marine Park in 1975 and a World Heritage Area in 1981. Since this time, Traditional Owners have been seeking greater recognition of their rights, responsibilities and interests as the traditional custodians of the Great Barrier Reef. And from the 1990’s Traditional Owners have been coming together to seek more cohesive approaches to securing their aspirations for a ‘Healthy Reef and Healthy People’.

Traditional Owner
Implementation Plan

The Traditional Owner Implementation Plan outlines actions to achieve Traditional Owners’ aspirations for the Great Barrier Reef as part of the Reef 2050 Plan. It brings Traditional Owner actions together from a cross the Reef 2050 Plan into a cohesive framework for implementation.

The Reef 2050 Traditional Owner Implementation Plan is About:

The Plan’s vision is:

“In 2050 the Great Barrier Reef is sustained as a living natural and cultural wonder of the world”

Our people, our Traditional Owners

The aim of the Reef 2050 Traditional Owner Implementation Plan was to bring together Traditional Owner Actions from across the Reef 2050 Plan into one place and provide a cohesive framework and narrative to guide implementation.

A Steering Group was established to guide the process of bringing Traditional Owner actions into cohesive framework with clear implementation pathways. The Steering Group also provided guidance of the development of communication products for Traditional Owners about the Reef 2050 Plan and its role in advancing Traditional Owner aspirations.

Work areas