Balnggarrawarra – Normanby Station

The Balnggarrawarra Story


How the land was handed back

Balnggarrawarra (Normanby Station) is a large 31,400 hectare grazing lease which was purchased by the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), as part of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Fund. ATSIC bought Normanby Station for the Balnggarrawarra (Bal-garra-warra) clan group of the Guugu Yimithirr Nation. Once the property was handed back to the Balnggarrawarra clan, the Harrigan family moved back on country to be able to manage the land and create a sustainable way of living.


What the station is used for today

Following in the footsteps of their late father, brothers Vincent, Clifford and Dylan now use the property as a cattle station, run an Indigenous Ranger Program, and host groups on their country to share culture and show them culturally significant sites. On top of juggling all these projects, the Normanby River can flood for weeks during the wet season, cutting them off from all access to the outside world. 


Rock Art found at Balnggarrawarra


Balnggarrawarra Rangers battling sediment runoff on the station

Balnggarrawarra Family Tree



Balnggarrawarra Cultural Educators





Additional Resources (not required for quiz)

My Cape York Life Episode with Vince Harrigan – Vinces shares the story of his connection with Country and why he is proud that his kids are able to grow up in Cooktown, and on Normanby Station.

Black Image Band – The Harrigan Brothers formed their own band – a very talented bunch of men. Check out some of their music here. 

Short clip showing how the Traditional Owners through the Balnggarrawarra Ranger Program at Normanby Station are managing erosion, a major issue in the region which is contributing to keeping the Great Barrier Reef healthy [1].


[1] Cape York Natural Resource Management, 2019. Normanby Station – Vince Harrigan – Water Quality. Available at <>.