What is an IPA?

Our Way

Added by Central Land Council

Description IPA in English stands for an ‘Indigenous Protected Area’. The Australian Government made the IPA program to help Aboriginal people from all over Australia to look after country for the benefit of all Australians. An IPA looks after the plants, animals and cultural sites for future generations. To become an IPA, an Aboriginal group makes a decision to add the land they own (under land rights) to the National Reserve System. This means the land becomes part of Australia’s system of protected areas.
An IPA is like an Aboriginal-owned national park. Making land an IPA is a voluntary decision that Aboriginal people make and they can change their mind anytime.
Areas of country that have lots of different types of animals and plants (and especially those that are becoming extinct) are important in the IPA. Scientists say these areas have biodiversity conservation significance or are important to look after.
An IPA is managed by its Indigenous owners, administered through an Indigenous organisation or land council. Both traditional and western scientific knowledge is used. Day to day management includes weed and feral animal control, fire management, revegetation, wildlife protection and monitoring. Caring for country in an IPA creates jobs for Aboriginal rangers.

Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) committee members directed the CLC to re-imagine their IPA Plan of Management, an English-heavy guide book for looking after the IPA. The brief was to create a lush digital resource using spoken Warlpiri that could be accessed both online and offline to mirror the content of the management plan and be navigated through voice commands. The CLC’s hope is that the IPA digital storybooks will help all Warlpiri – from elders to school children – to better understand and support the work to keep country healthy and culture strong. The CLC has made digital storybooks for both the Southern Tanami and the Northern Tanami IPAs. See www.ngurra.org and www.walyalku.org.au

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