Media Release

Ports Australia launches ‘Ports on the map of Indigenous Australia'

Posted on
December 2, 2021
Ports Australia acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this nation. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which our ports are located and where we conduct our business. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging. Ports Australia is committed to respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society.

Ports Australia has launched its ‘Ports on the Indigenous Map of Australia’, an online resource which locates ports on an Indigenous map of Australia and allows ports to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which they operate.

The map will be accompanied by information on Ports Australia’s Sustainability Hub showing how ports are taking reconciliation action or engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Our nation's ports are located in some of the world's most beautiful locations, all rich with the history and culture lived by the traditional custodians of the land. It’s important we identify the partnerships between ports and First Nation’s peoples and consider how we can empower one another to do more as an industry.

Preview of the map

Ports taking on reconciliation action and engaging with Traditional Owners is a critical part of business on an acute port and local community level, but also on a far greater scale, contributing to the growth of unity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples across Australia.  

Ports Australia would like to acknowledge the work of Scarlett Cheesman who interned with Ports Australia in 2021, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge from her studies helping to drive the development of this project.

Ports Australia’s CEO, Mike Gallacher, spoke about the origins and meaning behind the map.

‘A major focus of Ports Australia for a number of years now has been understanding and sharing the sustainable practice and planning mechanisms of our ports… this project merely directs that focus closer towards reconciliation action and acknowledgment of Traditional Owners,’ Mike said.

“It’s important we share what we’re doing right as individual businesses and an industry which inevitably informs and empowers us to do more for the betterment of the sector and nation as a whole.

‘Most importantly, this map provides one central location where we can acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our ports do their business every day,’ Mike said.

Whilst Ports Australia has exercised its best efforts, it cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of the information contained within the map or eliminate the possibility of anomalies with regard to system limitations.
This map seeks to reflect where and how the ports of Australia fit into the rich diversity and history of Australia. The design of this map is based on the work of David R Horton for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. It attempts to represent the language, social or nation groups of Indigenous Australia. The boundaries are not intended to be exact. Ports Australia acknowledges there may be a diverse range of clans, dialects, or languages within the areas mapped. The Acknowledgments of Country and port-specific information have been provided by the respective ports.


Media: Josh Appleton – E:

Ports Australia is the peak industry body representing port authorities and corporations, both publicly and privately owned, at the national level.

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