Who We are
We are Traditional Owners and representatives of the seven tribal groups of Country bound by the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac (MWI) Natural Resource Management (NRM) boundary.
Collectively, we are known as the MWI Traditional Owner Reference Group (TORG) and consist of members of the Juru, Gia, Ngaro, Yuwibara, Koinmerburra, Barada and Wiri people. We are committed to managing, maintaining and protecting our tribal lands and sea within the MWI region. We discuss, develop and deliver opportunities to build capacity within the group and share cultural heritage and environmental values.
As representatives of the seven tribal groups of the region, we seek to develop opportunities to reconnect with Country. We direct and participate in on-Country activities to restore and protect cultural heritage and are charged with the responsibility to disseminate this material to the wider Indigenous community, as appropriate.
The MWI TORG consist of the following:
Includes lands north of Bowen.
TORG Member: Sue West
Proxy Member: Jason Hartwig
Includes the mainland adjacent to the Whitsunday Islands, north to Bowen, south to O’Connell River and east to the Clarke Connor Ranges.
TORG Member: Agnes Boyd
Proxy Member: Sarah McAvoy
Includes the Whitsunday Islands and the mainland coastlines where they traded with Gia people.
TORG Member: Catherine Illin
Proxy Member: Emmakita Geia
Yuwibara country boundary is north to Midge Point, south to Cape Palmerston, west to the Clarke Conner Range and 10 nautical miles east of the coastline.
TORG Member: Veronica Ah-wang
Includes Pine Mountain (Normanby Range) across to Styx River, north along the coast to Cape Palmerston, west to the Clarke Connor Range.
TORG Member: Marissa Deshong
Barada boundary is west of the Clarke Connor Ranges, south of Homevale National Park.
TORG Member: Sam Dallachy
Wiri boundary is west of the Clarke Connor Ranges, north of Homevale National Park.
TORG Member: Arthur Kennedy
Proxy Member: Corbette Fewquandie
Meet the members of the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac Traditional Owner Reference Group
The TORG wish to acknowledge and recognise the contributions made by former members who have passed.
Marissa Deshong – Koinmerburra
My involvement with the Traditional Owner Reference Group (TORG) has been from the beginning when I worked for Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services. I have learnt a lot from the other Traditional Owners within this group. Our job is to look after country and the best way to do this is to work together. We share and learn about the culture.
Contact 0455 295 237
Catherine Illin – Ngaro
I am a direct living descendant of the Ngaro people that inhabited the Whitsunday Island and am one of the voices on the spiritual connection that is a link between us and our ancestors. I am an active member of Reef Catchments Traditional Owner Reference Group and am determined to continue the work of my family to protect, preserve and work on my country.
Contact 0474 141 605
Sue West – Juru
I am a direct descendant of the Juru peoples of Bowen. I have been involved as a Juru elder with the TORG for four years. I am privileged to share my knowledge. My connection is also with the Ngaro and Gia peoples of the Whitsundays. I am involved with the schools in Proserpine, Whitsundays, Airlie Beach, and Bowen in which I share my knowledge and participate in all activities/events involving the Traditional Owners. My vision is to teach the young and to hand down my knowledge so that they can appreciate and respect the ways of our Ancestors of the Juru people.
Contact 0409 595 777
Sam Dallachy – Barada
My name is Samuel Dallachy and I am a descendant of the Barada/Wiri tribes. I am a senior Cultural Heritage officer which gives me a voice for our group and how our cultural sites are managed and looked after. TORG is a great opportunity to be involved in the implementation and management of our cultural and environmental resources.
Contact 0497 832 504
Agnes Boyd – GIA
Agnes is very passionate about ‘Looking after Country’ and her main priority is being a major part of future management planning with QPWS, Reef Catchments, Tourism and other agencies in the Whitsunday region. Her focus is the youth, by building their capacity and employment opportunities to work on Gia and country.
Contact 0488 058 624
Corbette Fewquandie – Widi
The Traditional Owner Reference Group provides an opportunity for the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac community to work together with Traditional Owners to improve the community’s knowledge of cultural heritage values and NRM issues within the region.
The TORG aims to make the MWI region a proactive leader in cultural heritage and environmental management. The TORG is governed by the Terms of Reference (under review) and is informed by the MWI TORG Strategic Plan 2017 – 2027.
Contact us via this form if you would like to:
- join TORG
- be involved in activities
- share information with TORG
- present to TORG
- make an inquiry or learn more