Daarba OLD


Bora Ground to Cattle Station

Daarba Homeland is an ancient bora site where traditional initiations were performed. In 1940 a road was cleared and the first cattle station on the homeland was established. Traditional Owner, Desmond (Des) Bowen, began to work on the station with his Dad as a young 17-year old, and by the 1970s Des was running it. Relations between Tom Foster, the non-Indigenous station manager and Walter, Desmond’s Dad, were mutually respectful throughout their time together. 


Journey to Native Title

In the 1990s, the local families learned of the plan that the land could be sold to overseas buyers and so they began the journey to get their land back. In the year 2000, the land was handed back to the Traditional Owners, including Desmond’s family, through the Native Title process. Daarba Lands Trust now holds the land, and it is governed by a board of directors. 


Plans for the future

Desmond’s family want to see their homeland used as it was traditionally – to hunt, gather, learn and carry on cultural customs. They also want to encourage young indigenous kids to come and camp at Daarba, and learn what it means to live on country. The homeland is used to host Men’s Groups and create advocacy around closing the gap on Indigenous health. 


Daarba is a remote coastal homeland, 50 kilometres from Hope Vale Community


In the distance you can spot the large sand dunes of Cape Flattery



Daarba Cultural Educators

Desmond Bowen

Estelle Bowen