Kakaud National Park History

Essay by SymoneHigh School, 10th gradeA, July 2004

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History Essay

Question: Using one of the following contemporary issues, explain how this issue has been a significant development in Australia's social and cultural history.

Kakadu is Australia's largest National Park, at 19,804 square kilometres. Legally it is Aboriginal land, leased to the Commonwealth Government since 1979. When experiencing the wonders of Kakadu National Park it is hard to look past the cultural and social significance it has had in Australian history. For over 40,000 years Aboriginal people have lived on that land, worked it, cared for it and remembered it as an important cultural memorial of their past. Since the social influx of European settlement Kakadu has been threatened, the cultural significance not being important to non - indigenous people but only the social significance of the money that could be made through making it a World Heritage site and tourist destination and through the development of the Jabiluka mine.

Occupants of Kakadu for thousands of years, the Mirrar people see this exotic and beautiful place as a key to their culture and heritage but it is also "partially recognized in the World Heritage listing, it is not simply for natural issues or simply cultural issues but recognition for both which makes it one of the most unique areas in the world" says Yvonne Margarula. Known for it's wetlands, four major river systems, woodland plains, rainforests, hill country, elevated rocky outcrops and large variety of plants and animals, Kakadu's original formations date back 2000 million years. Kakadu is of cultural significance in the history of indigenous Australians, their understanding of Kakadu's many landforms and changing seasons and their care of its environment are recorded in rock art, in the stories of the Dreamtime and in their continual involvement in the management of the area. The land has an...