Rescheduled …

Cultural burn: NSW (courtesy ABC)

We have made the big decision to reschedule our program of community workshops to Autumn 2022. With COVID lockdowns and restrictions we just couldn’t go ahead on 14 August, and if we delayed a couple of weeks, then would we be running too late to have ‘right fire’?

The advice from Djaara was that with wattles blooming, the sun getting warmer and spring winds starting, it may be too late for a safe and productive cultural burn. And of course, we might have a wet spring … so many unknowns!

So the decision has been made:

March: Workshop 1 – Understanding the need to burn.Looking at the land from Djaara and western ecological perspectives. What are the values here, and what are the concerns? Held on-Country.

April/May: Workshop 2 – Right way fire. Undertaking one or a series of small cultural burns. The timing will be determined by the conditions.

May/June: Workshop 3 – Learning through yarning. Afterwards a chance to learn, share experiences and outcomes, and setting up for monitoring – held on-Country.

The Humanitix booking site will be updated soon.

We’ll post updates through our website and facebook: stay tuned!

Fire for Healthy Country: Workshop bookings open!

How can fire help us create healthy Country? And what kind of fire? Used when, how and by whom?

Our second Talking Fire event in November 2018 focused on Djandak Wi – the term used by Djaara – Dja Dja Wurrung people, the Traditional Owners for our part of Central Victoria – for the process of returning cultural fire to Country.

Now Talking Fire is partnering with Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation to create opportunities for our community to deepen and transform our understanding of how to care for our local landscape. Djaara knowledge and experience will be shared through a practical experience of using fire as a way of caring for Country.

Together we want to enhance biodiversity, build community awareness and confidence in the use of fire, support new land holder skills, address community safety, and support Djaara in increasing their capacity to apply Djandak Wi to public and private land. A big agenda!

The project will be structured around three on-Country workshops to be held from May through to July (or later depending on the season). Each event will be a pre-booked COVID Safe event. For 2021, the area proposed is the southern section of the Bruce’s Track planned burn.

Community Workshop bookings are now open

Bookings for our three workshops are now open; fingers crossed and COVID willing! The location for the three workshops will be on Country – within the area proposed for Djandak Wi in the Muckleford Forest. There will also be a community event in the Community Centre in Newstead in October.

  • Workshop 1 – Understanding the need to burn. Looking at the land from Djaara and western ecological perspectives. What are the values here, and what are the concerns? Held on-Country. NEW DATE: Saturday 14 August, 12.00pm onwardsLocation will be confirmed after booking.
  • Workshop 2 – Right way fire: Undertaking one or a series of small cultural burns. The timing will be determined by the conditions. August date to be confirmed based on conditions.
  • Workshop 3 – Learning through yarning: Afterwards a chance to learn, share experiences and outcomes, and setting up for monitoring – held on-Country. September – date to be confirmed.

If you want to attend Workshop 2 – the actual cultural burn, you must attend Workshop 1 and complete Basic Wildfire Awareness, a short online training course (it takes around 3-4 hours) or in-person training – see below. When you book for these workshops, you will be asked whether you want to attend online or in-person training, and then you will be contacted with details of how to register.

Numbers are limited for Workshops 1 & 2, so please only book if you can commit to attending.

Click here to book: ticket price $10 (inc booking fee).

The Basic Wildfire Awareness training is designed to teach staff and contractors a basic awareness of fire behaviour, fire suppression techniques, safety and survival during wildfire and planned burn operations. Online training is done in your own time. There may be spaces available in a 1-day face-to-face training option in Bendigo on either 18 or 19 August.

Post-burn monitoring

The project includes a three years of post-burn monitoring, and we are keen to recruit volunteers with local plant knowledge to the monitoring team.

To get updates, follow the Talking Fire website (talkingfire.org), Talking Fire on Facebook.

Supported by the Wettenhall Environment Trust as part of their Burning Country program

Fire for Healthy Country

Cultural burn: Wooragee Landcare Workshop with Elder Uncle Ron Mason (2019)

Working with Dja Dja Wurrung and DELWP, the Talking Fire project is planning a Djandak Wi cultural burn over the winter months.

Djandak Wi is the term used by Djaara – Dja Dja Wurrung people, the Traditional Owners for our part of Central Victoria – for the process of returning cultural fire to Country.

The project seeks to deepen and transform our understanding of how to care for our local landscape by bringing Djaara knowledge and experience into a practical experience of using fire as a way of caring for Country.

Since we announced the project in the Newstead Echo in February 2021, we have been looking at potential public land locations, talking about practicalities, and inviting key local organisations to get involved. The chosen location is in the Muckleford Forest, close to the Newstead-Maldon Road, and part of the proposed planned burn area known as ‘Bruce’s Track’.

You can find out more about the project on this webpage. You might also like to look at some of the resources on Aboriginal cultural burning that we have added to our Resources page.

Please head to our home page to ‘follow’ Talking Fire for updates on this project and to learn how you can be part of one or more of our workshops or yarning sessions.

Or you can follow Talking Fire on Facebook.


Talking Fire is a project of Newstead 2021 Inc and was initiated by the Muckleford Forest Friends Network. Talking Fire aims to support and initiate community conversations to build understandings of the place of fire in our landscape.

The Fire for Health Country project in Newstead is supported by Wettenhall Environment Trust as a pilot in their Burning Country program.

Returning cultural burning to Country – Djandak Wi

Thursday 29 November 7.30pm. Newstead Community Centre (9 Lyons Street, Newstead).
All welcome, no booking required.

Come and hear Scott Falconer (Assistant Chief Fire Officer with FFMVic) share his experience in the United States and Canada where he explored the involvement of Indigenous people in land and fire management. Scott’s research was supported through The Lord Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal Churchill Fellowship. He was accompanied by Trent Nelson, Dja Dja Wurrung man and Parks Victoria Ranger Team Leader for part of the research trip. Read more …

Talking Fire November Events

Come along to one or both of these two upcoming Talking Fire events:

Budj Bim Rangers – Josh Ferguson & Sean Bell: Cultural Burning on the Kurtonitj IPA (South-West Victoria)

Building community capacity & confidence: Thursday 29 November – 7.30-9.15pm, Newstead Community Centre

Changing how we think about and manage fire in our local landscape means reflecting on our concerns, our capacities and our confidence in current practices and in any proposed changes. What might reviving Indigenous burning practices mean for example? Join us for a presentation on the value of community dialogue to foster shared knowledge and responsibility. All welcome. Free – gold coin donation appreciated!

Reviving Indigenous burning practices: Community Search Conference: Friday 30 November 9am-5pm, Newstead Community Centre

Join expert panellists at our Community Search Conference for a chance to explore how we might connect Indigenous fire traditions with current approaches to fuel reduction and planned burns to shape new ways to protect our landscape and communities. All welcome. The Community Search Conference is free but please book by Friday 23 November.

Bookings: for the Community Search Conference, email your name, organisation (if applicable), contact phone number and the number of people to Talking FireFor more information: Talkingfire.org or Talking Fire on Facebook. 

This project is supported by the Mount Alexander Shire Council Community Grants Program.