A NSW Government website

New board to manage Dirawong Reserve

16 Feb 2024

A new community board has been appointed to oversee the management of the popular Dirawong Reserve at Evans Head.

Crown Lands in the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) has approved the appointment of a new seven-member board for the Dirawong Reserve Land Manager.

The new board members, who have been appointed for up to five years, are Mary Ward, Stuart Bunn, Timothy Smith, Tara Mercy, Muhammed Khan and Rebecca Cowan, with the CEO of Bandjalang Aboriginal Corporation Prescribed Body Corporate RNTBC, Rebecca Greer, appointed as an exofficio

The new board members have public and private sector experience, are culturally diverse, and bring a wealth of local knowledge to their role as Crown land managers.

The reserve is significant to the Bandjalang people with the Federal Court in 2013 recognising their non-exclusive Native Title Rights over the reserve.

In the mythology of the Bundjalung Nation, the Dirawong is an unseen spiritual creature also known as the goanna spirit.

The Crown land reserve was gazetted on 9 January 1987 for the purposes of Aboriginal heritage, preservation of fauna and the preservation of native flora.

Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said the incoming board will oversee the management of Dirawong Reserve for recreational and cultural uses, protect its values and be attuned to local cultural sensitivities.

"I thank the previous Board for their service and congratulate the new board members on their selection and thank them for volunteering their time and skills to help manage Dirawong Reserve on behalf of the community," Mr Kamper said.

"The reserve is a 300-hectare coastal paradise that attracts thousands of people each year for its natural beauty, beaches and bays, walking tracks, diverse ecology and Aboriginal cultural history."