Returning cultural burning to Country – Djandak Wi

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

DELWP Planned Burn: Burn undertaken according to traditional Indigenous methods. (Photo Julie Millowick)

After a gap of 170 years or more, the first cultural burns in our area were undertaken in May 2017 – one near Maryborough and the other in the Whipstick – and now another seven more have been completed. Scott Falconer, Assistant Chief Fire Officer with FFMVic is working with Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, supporting them in returning cultural burning back to Country.

Come and hear Scott Falconer share his experience in the United States and Canada where he explored the involvement of Indigenous people in land and fire management, with a focus on how Traditional Owners are working with agencies to reintroduce cultural burning to Country, establishing strong relationships with Traditional Owners and creating employment opportunities.

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.

‘Cultural burn’ is one of the terms that is being used to describe traditional Aboriginal burning practices. Reintroducing cultural burns as part of land management is seen as a significant step in the recognising that traditional Aboriginal methods, evolved over many millennia and still present when colonial settlers arrived in south-eastern Australia, could help us today. Compared to ‘planned burns’, these cultural burns are cooler and patchy.

Scott Falconer has worked in fire, forestry and fisheries for more than 20 years, and was appointed Loddon Mallee assistant chief fire officer with Forest Fire Management Victoria in June 2016.

The Churchill Trust aims to provide the chance for Australians to travel overseas to conduct research when opportunities are not readily available here, and reward achievements by providing further opportunity to pursue excellence to enrich Australia.