Cultural burn a hands-on education

Article image - Cultural burn a hands-on education Cultural Burn workshop host Victor Steffensen with Mayor Samantha O’Toole.

Hands-on lessons in fire management have been a game changer at Balonne Shire Council in South West Queensland, where staff have learnt the fundamentals of traditional fire practice at the Shire’s first ever Cultural Burn workshop.

Council held the Cultural Burn workshop at Thallon in early September, bringing together Queensland Murray Darling Catchment Ltd (QMDCL) Aboriginal Rangers, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) personnel, and Council staff for an educational field day on effective land management using traditional burning methods, run by fire management consultant Victor Steffensen.

In the future, Council will utilise the QMDCL Aboriginal Rangers’ skills in Cultural Burns on Stock Routes and other land reserves around the Balonne Shire. 

Over the coming seasons Cultural Burns will help improve the environmental health of the shire’s landscapes, eradicate destructive weed species, and mitigate bushfire risk.

Mayor, Samantha O’Toole attended the Thallon workshop and said Cultural Burns would provide great benefits to the shire through both education, and collaboration with the QMDCL Rangers and QFES.

“This is the start of an opportunity, showing how we can all work together to get some great outcomes not only for our agencies, but cross-cultural outcomes as well.

“Our Rural Services team have learned a way to better manage our stock routes and road reserves, while Indigenous people can have access to country to build their cultural knowledge and share that with the broader community.”