GREAT BARRIER REEF
// Outlook Report 2014
• middens: deposits of food refuse, usually shellfish • stone quarries: areas known to have produced high-quality stone tools • grinding grooves and stone chipping areas: evidence of tool making or food processing found on flat sections of rock • fish traps: constructed to harness the tides in catching fish • rock art (which often tells Dreaming stories and sometimes provides pictorial evidence of past rituals central to the lives of Traditional Owners) • scarred trees as a result of bark being removed for food or to make canoes, water containers, shields or huts. Archeological sites document past Aboriginal use of the Region and its islands and coast. For example, research shows that the Ngaro people have inhabited the Whitsundays for at least the past 9000 years. Evidence of occupation includes numerous fish traps, a stone quarry and rock art at Nara Inlet on Hook Island. Archaeological sites also show the connections between coastal and hinterland Aboriginal people, such as trade links. Ancient rock art sites help chronicle the history and heritage of Indigenous people, while oral histories transferred through time deliver traditional knowledge and understanding about tools or technology. The rock art at Cape Ferguson, which has been documented by the Bindal Traditional Owners from the Townsville area, is an example of knowledge and information transfer.7 The rock art in the Flinders group of islands provides evidence of sightings by Aboriginal people of early sailing ships travelling through the Region. Indigenous structures, tools, technologies and archaeology, although well known to Traditional Owners, have not yet been systematically identified by managing agencies and therefore may be vulnerable to coastal development and other land use activities. They are also vulnerable to rises in sea level and severe weather events. Some specific sites, such as the Hinchinbrook Island fish traps, are managed by the Traditional Owners of the area.
Indigenous structures and archaeology have not been systematically identified; many are under pressure.
Tools and implements are part of Traditional Owner cultural heritage
4.3 Current state and trends of historic heritage values
For the purposes of this report, historic heritage values relate to the occupation and use of the Region since the arrival of European and other migrants. They illustrate the way many cultures of Australian people have modified, shaped and created the cultural environment of the Region. By its very nature, historic heritage will continue to evolve, representing the flow of history and changing community perceptions.18 While some specific aspects of the Reef’s historic heritage have been well documented, knowledge of many historic places or events is limited. The following summary of the Region’s historic heritage values is grouped into four broad components: • historic voyages and shipwrecks • historic lightstations • World War II features and sites • other places of historic significance.