Celebrating NAIDOC week

15th Nov 2020

This NAIDOC week we take a look at some of the Indigenous Landcare work, achievements and activities happening in lutruwita / Tasmania.  

We pay deep respect to the palawa/pakana of lutruwita who have cared for this land for more than 2,000 generations and continue to do so. We celebrate and honour the original inhabitants of lutruwita past, present and future.

“Our ancestors cared for the land, and in return it cared for us. Our ancestors are the original scientists, doctors, botanists, geologists, chemists, astronomers, navigators, story tellers, bakers and the experts at sustainable living.” Trish Hodge – Nita Education

Lewisham Landcare

Earlier this year, Lewisham Landcare and students from Rosny College and Campbell Town School embraced ‘two-eyed seeing': combining Indigenous knowledge and way of knowing with Western knowledge and way of knowing. 

They engaged in a smoking ceremony, wallaby tacos and planting native plants. All up, the participants got 300 native plants in the ground! These plants added to existing revegetation of the area, which consists mainly of old growth white gums and native grasses.  Plants were marked by an ochre thumb print of the planter. 

Moonah Primary School 24 Carrot Gardens

Moonah Primary School 24 Carrot Gardens have been harvesting and prepping veggies from their garden for their NAIDOC lunch.  This week, students sat together with community elders to eat a delicious NAIDOC-themed lunch.  Menu items included saltbush, warrigal greens, kunzea, kangaroo, wallaby, and a tasty wattleseed, lemon myrtle and pepperberry damper. 

Glenorchy Reconciliation Group

The Glenorchy Reconciliation Group (GRG) brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to build understanding and respect for cultural heritage. They have been caring for makalina rruni, Frying Pan Island on Berriedale Bay, for a number of years.  The site is privately owned by Uniting Aged Care, so the GRG thank them for the opportunity to undertake the project, and also their contributions to the project.

Recently Aunty Eva Richardson, a longtime member of the GRG, met with representatives from a number of organisations and members of the group to visit makalina rruni (palawa kani for stingray island - also known as little Frying Pan island) to discuss the deep cultural history of the island and its significance for the local community. 

One of GRG's projects involves the protection and rehabilitation of important middens on the timtumili minanya(Derwent River) foreshore at makalina rruni.  The group have installed commemorative pieces at the site, and are developing educational materials, which show the long history of the island for ceremonies and the biodiversity values that have been restored through the work of the GRG. 

GRG were awarded the Indigenous Land Management Award in the 2017 Tasmanian Landcare Awards, and went on to be finalists in the 2018 National Landcare Awards for Indigenous Land Management.

One of the founding members of the GRG Aunty Ida West, an important elder from Flinders Island widely recognised for positive contributions for Tasmania’s Aboriginal people.  The commemorative pieces include a replica of the seat that is in the Healing Garden at Wybalenna on Flinders Island, and the seat is positioned to look across timtumili minanya(Derwent River) to Risdon Cove.The group are looking to extend their projects to other significant Aboriginal sites around  timtumili minanya(Derwent River).

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation and Dual Naming

This year, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (TAC) approved Landcare Tasmania to use dual naming of place locations in our publications.  In 2019, to mark the International Year of Indigenous languages, the TAC released an interactive map of over 180 Aboriginal place names in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines.

"The original names of our beautiful country have been retrieved over many years work by the palawa kani Language Program, to be spoken once again by Tasmanian Aborigines." - The TAC 

You can learn more about palawa kani place names, and access the map here.  The map allows you to scroll over a location for history and information and provides a palawa kani audio.  The TAC are proud to share these names so that they may be spoken with care to acknowledge the traditional owners, past and present, of lutruwita. 


2019 Conference and Landcare Awards

Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony 

©Natasha Mulhall ©Natasha Mulhall

The Tasmanian Community Landcare Conference 2019 was privileged to be kicked off by a very special Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by NITA Education.

"Today we share our deep connection, knowledge, and understanding with you, as we want our culture to continue for another 2000 generations." -NITA Education

Jam Graham-Blair 

©Natasha Mulhall

Conference Field Trippers were also lucky to attend a walk and talk with Jam Graham-Blair, a proud trawlwoolway pakana, environmental activist, ecology student, educator and artist who discussed traditional bush management with fire at Bedlam Walls.

Jam empowers others to fight for the land and its heritage, recognising the dispossession experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  Using Western and Southern science, activism, art, and education he hopes to challenge, change, grow and heal his incredible home and its communities.

Andry Sculthorpe 

On the Panel on fire in the Tasmanian Landscape was Andry Sculthorpe. 

Andry has been extensively involved in Indigenous fire management and Aboriginal Heritage management in Tasmania, within the Aboriginal community and the State Government, as well as a regional coordinator for the local NRM body.  He has obtained a BSc in Botany and Geography at the University of Tasmania and has training in Aboriginal heritage assessment and protection.

Andry aims to further the skills and knowledge of the Aboriginal community to manage and protect land and heritage and to enable Aboriginal people to be involved in broader natural area management. 

Jason Whitehead 

Conference Speaker Jason Whitehead spoke on 'Landcare, science and caring for country'. Jason manages Cockatoo Hills, a Highland Conservation Pty Ltd property. He has hosted first nations Australian engagement programs surrounding the conservation of the Miena Cider Gum, a significant first nations Tasmanian plant which is iconic in the ancient landscape.

He has also worked with Aboriginal students, connecting them with researchers to create a fusion of cultural awareness, science & land management on Cockatoo Hills trips, supported by the Tasmanian Landcare Fund.  

Indigenous Land management Award - pakana services 

The winners of the Indigenous Land Management Award category were pakana services.  Pakana services is a non-profit social enterprise that reinvests all profits back into the company to further develop the working skills of Aboriginal Tasmanians.

They specialise in natural resource management, with a focus on jobs like brush-cutting, weed control, fencing, tree planting, track maintenance and construction. 

Pakana services use a number of modern land management methods while sharing knowledge of Aboriginal culture and techniques with the wider community. Stories such as these can help protect Aboriginal heritage and sites, and assist the wider community in recognising the importance of cultural areas and landscapes.

Landcare Tasmania celebrates and expresses gratitude for the strong and resilient community of first nations people in lutruwita who continue to care for land, people and culture.