NAIDOC Week: Heal Country!
It is NAIDOC Week – and this year’s theme “Heal Country,” calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, communities, nations and heritage.
Country is at the heart of this.
With a commitment to work alongside Traditional Owners, Melbourne Water has engaged the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to use Cultural Burn practices to help protect and manage vegetation and land at the Macedon Ranges Regional Park.
With approval from Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders, the project will be delivered by the Narrap Unit, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Natural Resource Management department.
Healing Geboor through Wurundjeri Wiiñ
As Traditional Owners, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung fire practitioners want the cultural use of fire re-introduced and applied wherever possible to allow for healing and caring for Country.
For Uncle Dave Wandin, the right fire for place is an essential part of healing Country.
‘Cultural Burning is about bringing back a traditional practice that has maintained the landscape for millennia. Burning in the right way helps to regenerate vegetation and improve the health of Country; it brings back native flora and fauna diversity, and increases the resilience of systems through promoting natural succession and variation in the age of plants.’
‘Burning on Country makes me feel connected to the land and my community. When fire burns the right way I feel relaxed and connected with the knowledge we are caring for Country’.
This first of its kind project will be carried out over five years and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders have named it Healing Geboor (Mount Macedon) through Wurundjeri Wiiñ (Fire).
Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung fire practitioners have been an integral part of leading and developing the project scope and the on-ground delivery methods, which will complement the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Fuel Reduction Burns which are also undertaken in the area.