This week the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio joined Aboriginal Elders from the Dja Dja Wurrung community to hold a ceremony celebrating the return of traditional burning to their lands.
Cultural burns were conducted in two zones, one in the Greater Bendigo National Park, and the other in the Timor forest, near Maryborough. Both were patch burns, each in areas of 20 hectares; the places were chosen by Jaara elders for their cultural significance, and will be revisited with fire as necessary.
In advance of the two traditional burns, Dja Dja Wurrung Elders had visited both sites and granted their approval — Wednesday’s ceremony marked their return to the site to perform a ceremony of celebration.
The return of Aboriginal cultural burning to this region after a break of 170 years is a historic event, and fulfils part of the objectives of the Dja Dja Wurrung Country Plan: ‘Develop and trial a methodology for cultural burning on Dja Dja Wurrung Country that reduced threats to our living resources’ and ‘Increase the number of Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners employed as project fire-fighters.’
The CEO of the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation Rodney Carter said this week that “Our Elders are, rightfully, proud of the work our young leaders have done in their roles here with Forest Fire Management Victoria to return traditional burning to our lands.”