Rebuilding ourselves

Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Noeleen Dempsey
Nicole Courtman

The Kalkadoon People are a large society of people united by their acknowledgement and observance of traditional laws and customs. The Kalkadoon People are the biological descendants of 29 apical ancestors and include numerous clan groups.

The Kalkadoon People have lived in the Mt Isa region for thousands of years and fought hard to defend their country and culture. In 1884 hundreds of Kalkadoon People were killed in a fierce battle against the Queensland Native Mounted Police. The place is known today as Battle Mountain and is recognised as the site of one of the bloodiest massacres in Australian history. In December 2011 the Federal Court recognised the Kalkadoon People’s native title rights and interests over more than 38,000 square kilometres of land and waters in the Mt Isa region, including areas of reserves, unallocated state land, pastoral leases and other leases. 

The determination included around 4000 kilometres of exclusive native title.

The determination marked the end of a long struggle for land rights for the Kalkadoon People. Sadly, by October 2012 the Kalkadoon organisation was on the brink of insolvency following the departure of the former CEO and Chair. Through strong leadership, re-engagement with the community and with professional support and guidance, the Kalkadoon People have managed to maintain control over their affairs and turn around the financial position of the organisation.

This presentation will share the lessons learnt by Kalkadoon post native title determination and the key strategies that have been critical to the survival and success of the organisation moving forward.