Home » News » Traditional Elders can once again access an Indigenous sacred site in Tasmania after ILSC funding

Traditional Elders can once again access an Indigenous sacred site in Tasmania after ILSC funding

Brendan Foster – April 29, 2024

Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation staff: Mitchem Everett, Luke Brazendale and Dave mangenner Gough. Image: supplied.

Indigenous Elders now have easier access to a sacred space on the traditional lands of the Punnilerpanner people in Tasmania after local amenities were upgraded.

Panatana – located in Port Sorell, Tasmania is overseen by the Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation (SRAC), who take care of Country and the protection of cultural heritage and nature conservation values on the property.

SRAC also guard the area against the invasion of diseases, wildfire, rubbish, feral animals and reckless human activity.

Panatana is a significant site for First Nations people as it was a valuable source of food and medicine for the Punnilerpanner people and a sanctuary from the harsh winters of the Tasmanian highlands.

Not only do SRAC staff connect with Country they also get to share their traditional knowledge with visitors, including school students and tourism groups.

Now thanks to more than $93,000 of funding from the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC), Panatana is more accessible for Elders and other community members with a new community hub on the property.

The newly built facilities include an accessible toilet and shower block, accompanying various water tanks and storage space.

The hub will not only improve the cultural site’s accessibility for people with disabilities, it’s expected to create more awareness of Panatana, it’s culture and history.

SRAC chair, Dave mangenner Gough, said it had been a great opportunity to work with the ILSC and get the correct infrastructure in place on the property.

“Knowing that some community members and Elders who previously struggled to be on this Country, due to the lack of amenities, can now access Panatana freely, is so very important,” he said.

“Not only do the new facilities help the SRAC care for Country, but they also strengthen our ability to educate the community, schools and natural resource management groups about our culture and history.”

ILSC chief executive, Joe Morrison, said the upgraded facilities would strengthen SRAC’s self-determination.

“The ILSC is always proud to partner with Aboriginal organisations, particularly those who work tirelessly to manage and care for their Country,” he said.

“I look forward to seeing the amenities and hub strengthen SRAC’s connection to Country, now and for future generations.

“I believe SRAC’s sharing of Indigenous history, culture and knowledge will in turn lead to greater self-determination for SRAC”.