Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is managed jointly by the Director of National Parks and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management. The Director is assisted by Parks Australia, a division of the Australian Government Department of the Environment,Water, Heritage and the Arts, in carrying out his management responsibilities.
Diagram of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Joint Management Arrangements
The Board of Management and the Director are responsible for the preparation of the park Plan of Management and making policy and management decisions. The Board can also provide advice to the Minister regarding management of the park. Parks Australia is responsible for day to day management and implementation of Board decisions.
Of the 12 members of the Board of Management:
- Eight Aboriginal members are nominated by the Anangu traditional owners
- One member is nominated by the federal minister responsible for tourism and approved by Anangu
- One member is nominated by the federal minister responsible for the environment and approved by Anangu
- One member is nominated by the Northern Territory Government and approved by Anangu
- One member is the Director of National Parks.
Board members usually sit for a term of five years before a new nomination process takes place. All nominees are appointed by the Minister after a consultation process. Board meetings are held at least four times a year with all matters discussed in both English and Pitjantjatjara and/or Yankunytjatjara.
The Board is assisted in its work by a Secretary and a number of subcommittees dealing with specialised areas of Park Management e.g. tourism, science, media, cultural heritage protection. Any Board subcommittee can make recommendations to the Board who are responsible for making final decisions and recommendations to the Director and Park Manager.
Joint management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park began in late 1985 and is still in its pioneering years. Reviews take place from time to time and adjustments are made to the arrangements after an extensive consultation process with traditional owners.
Under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 the Central Land Council (CLC) is responsible for representing the interests of the traditional owners in negotiations and consultations regarding their lands. A CLC Joint Management Officer is employed to conduct consultations and represent the interests of traditional owners in management of the park.
traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta live in a large number of communities in Central Australia. Mutitjulu Community is one of these communities and is located inside the park. Mutitjulu Community Incorporated (MCI) employs a Park Liaison Officer to represent their interests in the joint management partnership on a day-to-day basis.
Many countries are now recognising the importance,and appropriateness of the role of Indigenous people in the management of National Parks on traditional lands. In April 1995 the Board of Management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Environment Australia were awarded the UNESCO Picasso Gold Medal for land management. The award was presented in recognition of the “outstanding management and conservation of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with the participation of traditional owners of the Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage site”.
Tjukurpa and management
Tjukurpa guides the development and interpretation of park policy as set out in the Plan of Management. Plans of Management are developed in consultation with Anangu and a wide range of individuals and organisations associated with the park. Park Management programs are all guided by Tjukurpa.
The Park Manager is responsible to the Director and Board of Management for the overall management of the park. Anangu are consulted about all Park programs and employed as consultants, rangers and contractors and through the CLC joint management officer and the Mutitjulu Community liaison officer.
Staff in the park take part in day to day patrols, maintenance and operations, carry out interpretation and education programs, design programs to care for the natural and cultural resources of the park, carry out land and cultural management projects, day to day administration and staff training.