New part­ner­ship ig­nites tra­di­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Abo­rig­i­nal tra­di­tional burn­ing is now part of Wim­mera Fire District’s planned burn­ing pro­gram un­der a For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria and Barengi Gad­jin Land Coun­cil part­ner­ship.

For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria Wim­mera district man­ager Glenn Ru­dolph said a Walpa Dyur­rita cul­tural burn at Cen­te­nary Park Camp­ground at the base of Mt Arapiles in Mt Arapiles-tooan State Park was part of the part­ner­ship.

“One of the most ex­cit­ing as­pects of the burn was that it was ini­ti­ated, planned and de­liv­ered by tra­di­tional owner staff, led by Parks Vic­to­ria’s Damien Skur­rie,” he said.

“We are for­tu­nate we have sev­eral Wotjobaluk peo­ple with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in con­tem­po­rary fire man­age­ment, who com­bine cur­rent and tra­di­tional fire knowl­edge to in­form our tra­di­tional burn­ing prac­tices.

“It is fan­tas­tic the crew light­ing the burn were tra­di­tional owner staff from the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning and Parks Vic­to­ria and two Barengi Gad­jin staff, watched over by Wotjobaluk El­ders.”

Mr Ru­dolph said the work marked the re­turn of thou­sands of years of Abo­rig­i­nal land-man­age­ment prac­tices.

“We are proud and priv­i­leged to have been part of this event,” he said.

Barengi Gad­jin chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Ste­wart sup­ported the re­turn of tra­di­tional burn­ing in a part­ner­ship ap­proach.

“For thou­sands of years Wotjobaluk peo­ple suc­cess­fully man­aged this coun­try and fire was in­te­gral to that ef­fort,” he said.

“This burn marks a fun­da­men­tal step in the restoratio­n of our coun­try; fire is about health of coun­try and of peo­ple.

“See­ing smoke from tra­di­tional burns ris­ing is a pow­er­ful and heal­ing sign for ev­ery­one, Abo­rig­i­nal and non-abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple alike.”

Na­timuk bush kinder­garten chil­dren also par­tic­i­pated in the day with a fire­stick brief­ing with tra­di­tional own­ers be­fore the burn.

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