Just as Goori people and their ancestors have done for generations, they gathered to share knowledge and maintain connections to country alongside neighbouring clans. The Dorrobbee Grasslands remain a meeting place on ancient pathways that connect landscapes, places, people, plants and animals.
During the gathering a cultural burn was applied to the Grasslands. It was collaboratively led by the Dorrobbee Grass Reserve Trust, Ngulingah Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), Firesticks, Dunoon Brigade (Rural Fire Service), NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Northern Rivers Fire and Biodiversity Consortium (NRFABCON) with the assistance of Githabul Working on Country rangers, Minyumai Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) rangers and other participants.
The event was part of the Grassy Pathways Project which is coordinated by NRFABCON with support and funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Firesticks project. The Grassy Pathways Project aims to build recognition of grassy ecosystem values and the important role they play in maintaining healthy landscapes. The hope is to continue to develop projects that regenerate and maintain the grassy areas of the Northern Rivers through the application of cultural fire management practices.
The Dorrobbee Grasslands are located just north of Dunoon on the corner of Dunoon and Frasers Roads. These grasslands are culturally significant to Aboriginal people as they are a rare example of grasslands that were dotted throughout the forest dominated landscape. These grasslands require active management, as was done by Aboriginal people previous to European settlement. The Dorrobbee Grasslands encompass 30 acres of Aboriginal owned and community land managed by the Ngulingah LALC and the Dorrobbee Grass Reserve Trust. These grasslands were burnt to maintain and enhance the health of the grassland habitat and values. The key treat is forest and weed species encroaching and dominating the open space.
The weather and conditions were perfect and the burn objectives were achieved. The objectives of the burn were to:
– apply burning with Aboriginal cultural leadership
– encourage regeneration of native Kangaroo grass and other grassland species
– reduce fuel loads and risk to neighbouring properties
– reduce weedy species that are invading the grasslands
Following the burn a discussion was held onsite to explore the scope and future of the Grassy Pathways project. Valuable input was contributed by rangers, land managers and other stakeholders regarding the next phases of the project. The Firesticks project is happy to support and work with the Grassy Pathways project – it provides rangers with the opportunity to work together and apply their cultural practice while working with other agencies in maintaining Country.
We will be holding more activities to continue to develop projects to implement the grassy pathways concept. We value your ideas, knowledge and experience in how shared natural and cultural outcomes can be achieved through strategic and appropriate fire management across the landscape.
For more info on this or future activities please contact:
0422 223 478