Park staff work hard to protect and conserve Kakadu's natural and cultural values, to promote the interests of traditional owners, and to encourage appropriate public use and appreciation of the area. In this context, an important aspect of Kakadu is the opportunity it offers for people to learn about and experience Aboriginal culture and the natural environment through tourism.
Kakadu is Aboriginal Land
Since the late 1970s, traditional owners have leased their country to the Director of National Parks as part of Kakadu National Park. Through joint management, they have worked hard with park staff to balance the protection of their culture and the places that are important to them with the needs of visitors and other stakeholders.
The name 'Kakadu'
The name 'Kakadu' comes from an Aboriginal floodplain language called Gagudju, which was one of the languages spoken in the north of the park at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although languages such as Gagudju and Limilngan are no longer regularly spoken, descendants of these language groups still live in Kakadu. Aboriginal languages used in the park today include Kun-winjku from the north-eastern region, Gun-djeihmi from the central region and Jawoyn from the southern region.
The people of kakadu
The Aboriginal people of Kakadu are known as Bininj/Mungguy. Bininj (pronounced bin-ing) is a Kun-winjku and Gun-djeihmi word, Mungguy (pronounced Moonggooy) is a Jawoyn word. Both are similar to the English word 'man' and depending on the context can mean man, male, person or Aboriginal people. Balanda means non-Aboriginal people.