CAPE York NRM Board of Directors has formally recognised the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Australia, by adopting a governance policy based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The new policy will guide the way in which the company, its directors and staff will relate to, engage and work in partnership with the Indigenous peoples of Cape York.

The policy embodies the following principles:

  • The company recognises that Indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, and the company recognises the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be respected as such
  • The company recognises that the situation of Indigenous peoples varies from community to community and region to region and that the significance of this diversity of situations and historical and cultural backgrounds should be taken into consideration
  • The company recognises that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of Cape York’s culture
  • The company recognises that Indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind
  • The company recognises that Indigenous peoples have suffered from historical injustice as a result of, amongst other things, the dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, thus preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests
  • The company respects the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources
  • The company recognises that support for control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources and recognition will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs
  • The company respects the rights of indigenous peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with Local, State and Commonwealth governments
  • The company respects the fact that indigenous peoples are organising themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement
  • The company recognises that its respect and support for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment
  • The company recognises the right of indigenous families and communities to retain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their children, consistent with the rights of the child
  • The company recognises that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of national and international concern, interest, responsibility and character
  • The company recognises that treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements, and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthened partnership between indigenous peoples and government