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Land and Sea Country

Traditional Owners continue to interweave their diverse cultures, knowledge systems, management and spiritualities with the Great Barrier Reef (the Reef) as they have since time immemorial.

Arial image of a beach in the Whitsundays
Sawmill Beach, Whitsundays

 © Commonwealth of Australia (GBRMPA)


Approximately, 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clan groups remain culturally, economically, and spiritually connected to their Land and Sea Country now referred to as the Great Barrier Reef.

The broader Reef management community including researchers are partnering with Traditional Owners to support the sustainability and longevity of the Reef now and into the future.

Land and Sea Country is not just a geographical area, it includes all living things, beliefs, values, creation stories, spirits and cultural obligations associated with it. To Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Land and Sea Country is not only a place of belonging, but also refers to an interdependent relationship between Traditional Owners and their ancestral lands and seas.  


Learn more about Land and Sea Country

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The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority acknowledges the expertise, wisdom, and enduring connections that have informed the guardianship of the Reef for millennia. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners as the first managers of this land and sea, and value their traditional knowledge which continues to inform the current management and stewardship of the Reef for future generations.