Uluru~Kata Tjuta National Park, an isolated tiny patch in Australia’s vast arid zone at the very centre of the continent, it the symbol for a special, almost intangible quality of the continent’s interior but also for the co-operative human spirit. It is one of the most remarkable places on earth.
In this national park, in the heart of Australia, exist Australia’s most recognizable land forms, Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) are two of the continent’s most sacred sites for Aboriginal Australians, yet their images also lie deep in the psyche of Piranpa, white Australians.
Virtually representative of the continent’s arid zone, Uluru~Kata Tjuta is a place with a long geological history that, despite the vagaries and extremes of the outback climate, supports an array of plants and animals of great diversity and extraordinary adaptations. Stanley Breeden spent the best part of a year at Uluru~Kata Tjuta, exploring the richness of its habitats. In Uluru he not only describes the region’s geological evolution and paints a sweeping picture of its natural history, but also captures the small details and fascinating changes that occur as the seasons pass.
But the National Park is even more than an exceptional natural environment; it is also a powerful and integral part of the cultural life of the Aboriginal owners, who call themselves Anangu. Stanley Breeden was fortunate to receive the co-operation of Anangu during his year at Uluru, and from them he learned about their traditions, their harmonious existence with the land and its plants and animals, and how they maintain the country in accordance with their Law. Uluru also documents the progression towards Aboriginal ownership of Uluru~Kata Tjuta, culminating in Handback in 1985, and the successful joint management of the National Park with the Piranpa rangers and other staff of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency.