Australia’s First Peoples have a deep understanding of how to care for Country with the right fire. A good, nurturing, beautiful fire. A cool fire, burned at the right time, in a way that protects parent trees, seasonal plants, animals and the canopy.
The National Indigenous Fire Workshop
The National Indigenous Fire Workshop has evolved from the Awu-Alaya Elders fire management project in Cape York (more info) that began in 2004, the Kuku Thaypan Fire Management Research Project (KTFMRP). Their work has gone on to inspire communities all over the country and led to bringing people together to learn about Aboriginal fire management. These on-Country Workshops have been held annually since 2008 and have been developed over the years to strengthen culture and share the importance of getting traditional fire regimes back on Country. Each year the Workshop has been hosted by a different Cape York community with different landscapes (Wujal Wujal 2016, Balnggarrawarra 2017) and in 2018 the opportunity was created to share this amazing community-led initiative in other parts of the continent (Bundanon 2018, Dhungala 2019). Mulong and the Elders fire research project supported by The Importance of Campfires research developed and delivered these workshops until 2011. In 2011, Cape York Natural Resource Management was formed and began to support delivery of the workshops from 2011, supporting Mulong and The Importance of Campfires until the mentorship to the newly formed Firesticks Alliance in 2018. The workshop is now led by Mulong, the Firesticks Alliance and supported by The Importance of Campfires and Design Collaboration and Country (University of Technology, Jumbunna and Firesticks). The vision is to bring Indigenous fire practices to the forefront of looking after our communities and environment.
Image: Rebecca Lyngdoh Reye National Indigenous Fire Workshop Smoking Ceremony 2018 at Bundanon