Indigenous Communities

and the Environment

Indigenous Protected Areas Newsletter - Issue 2

© Commonwealth of Australia, 2005
ISSN 0 642 555028 X

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A message from Greg Hunt

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

As your new Parliamentary Secretary, I'd like to welcome you to the second IPA newsletter.

I was delighted when the Prime Minister asked me to work with you to look after Indigenous Protected Areas. Before I was an MP I worked at the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and also on health and education programs for the developing world. I stood for Parliament because I wanted to make a real difference - and I am passionate about helping communities protect their environment.

Since taking on responsibility for IPA's I have spent a lot of time talking to Indigenous people. I am struck by how important traditional knowledge is in caring for country and how vital it is to pass that knowledge on to the next generation. The IPA program helps do this.

IPAs are an important part of the wide network of protected areas in the National Reserve System. They cover 13 million hectares. There's a lot we can learn from Indigenous customs to help us look after Australia's landscapes and wildlife.

I'm proud that the IPAs are taking the lead in new ways of working with Indigenous communities. By working together on country we are building new ways of doing things together. We are learning from each other. We are forging new direct relationships. We're looking after land better and we're helping to keep alive Indigenous customs dating back tens of thousands of years. By working together we can create a better environment and safer and healthier communities.

I look forward to visiting many IPAs and to working with you. You have my full support for the great work you do!

Best wishes

Signature of Greg Hunt

Greg Hunt
Parliamentary Secretary
to the Minister for the
Environment and Heritage

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Cover of the IPA newsletter 2005

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