Cultural Burning Project: Media Release, August 2021

Enhancing bushfire recovery and resilience through collaborative, community engagement in the principles and practices of indigenous cultural burning.

Boonah and District Landcare is looking forward to working with Firesticks Alliance on a project that hopes to bring a cross-section of the community together for a common purpose as part of The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat. 

Boonah and District Landcare President, Linda Kimber, said: “The 2019/20 bushfires had a big impact on our region. They were a timely reminder that we are all responsible for managing the land in a way that reduces fuel loads as well as also maintains and encourages natural habitat and wildlife. We know that biodiversity is important for a healthy landscape and we also know that bushfires are worse in unmanaged ecosystems.” 

“We have many members who want to manage their land in a responsible way. One of our members has completed a workshop with well-known, Indigenous fire practitioner, Victor Steffensen, author of Fire Country. With one workshop under his belt, he has started to manage 300 acres at Carney’s Creek, with the help of friends, using the principles and practices of cultural burning. He admits he still has a lot to learn but has already seen good results. He believes his landscape will only improve as his knowledge and skills improve. His experiences inspired Boonah and District Landcare to develop a community-wide project to learn about cultural burning.” 

“In designing this project, we firmly believe that it is essential to involve a cross section of the community and that this needs to include Traditional Owners, land managers, Rural Fire Services, local Council personnel and others to ensure that we are all developing the same knowledge and understanding. 

We also believe that a two-day workshop will not give us the time to become familiar with the needs of different landscapes and land uses. Most importantly, the decision for the project to run as three two-day workshops will provide an opportunity to build partnerships between participants, and confidence, to carry learnings beyond the project and its participants.” 

Queensland Land and Water Carers Chief Executive Officer Darryl Ebenezer said: “This project will help protect the natural assets of the western section of the Scenic Rim by reducing fire loads, managing weed infestations and promoting the health of native vegetation and habitat through the effective use of fire as a management tool. It is a great example of Landcare partnering with other groups to address local issues.“

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