Gidarjil’s new vessel Guardian Warrior is officially launched

Published:18 November 2020

Gidarjil Development Corporation’s new vessel Guardian Warrior was officially launched at CQUniversity's Gladstone Marina Campus by Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp (left), Gidarjil Managing Director Dr Kerry Blackman (middle) and Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Dr Ian Poiner (right)

Gidarjil Development Corporation’s new vessel Guardian Warrior was officially launched today, marking a significant milestone for the organisation.

The vessel will be docked at a pontoon at CQUniversity’s Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC) and adds to Gidarjil’s existing fleet of four boats that help the Gidarjil Development Corporation Gladstone/Bundaberg Sea Ranger team tackle important environmental issues, land and sea country management and help manage significant cultural heritage sites.

“To this end, we welcome this approach to improve the management of sea country within the greater Port Curtis Coral Coast Regional TUMRA boundary over 26,000 sq klm in partnership as the Traditional Owners with other Government departments and agencies like CQU, QPWS/Marine Parks, GBRMPA, DES and industry like Concophillip,” Gidarjil Managing Director Dr Kerry Blackman said.

“Given that we share our 26,000 sq klm of Sea Country with GBRMPA, CQU, QPWS/Marine Parks our land and Sea programs are designed to assist the First Nation peoples to take a more proactive and hands on role in the management and care of First Nation Country (both Land and Sea) by First Nation people. The programs specifically require First Nation people to be involved in the ranger programs as First Nation people care for Land and Sea Country responsibilities cannot be abrogated or transferred to other Indigenous or non-Indigenous people.”

CMERC Director Dr Emma Jackson said the integration of modern science and traditional knowledge was a vital component for successful coastal marine ecosystems management.

“CQUniversity recognises the incredible value of traditional ecological knowledge in our research programs,” Dr Jackson said

“Working together with the custodians of Land and Sea Country, the Gidarjil Development Corporation, will enable knowledge sharing and capacity building for all involved.

“For the past six years CQUniversity has enjoyed a productive and respectful collaboration with the Gidarjil Development Corporation, working together on projects including seagrass restoration, giant mud crab and fish health.

“Activities have included seagrass seed harvests, planting of new seagrass beds, and capturing and assessing fish and crab health. The docking of the Guardian Warrior at CMERC will further enhance our ability to work together.”