Cultural burning sparks interest

Article image - Cultural burning sparks interest Burraja Cultural Centre staff joined with Wodonga Council to provide accredited training in planned burning incorporating traditional Aboriginal practices.

Aboriginal cultural burning practices are increasingly being recognised as having an important role to play in environmental and fire hazard management.

With the approach of Winter bringing cooler, wetter weather, Wodonga Council, Victoria, took full advantage of the conditions joining with Burraja Cultural Centre staff in a planned burning training program in Baranduda.

The training is an important tool for reducing fire hazard and keeping the environment healthy.

The project has upskilled local land managers and traditional knowledge holders by providing access to accredited training in the preparation for and implementation of planned burning.

Wodonga Council Natural Resources Planner, Claire Coulson, said, “By building basic skills and local capacity, this project is the first step in bringing together diverse perspectives, knowledge, and interests to address local fuel hazard management in new ways.
“This project will allow for collaboration in fuel management activities that are not currently occurring locally.

“We will be beginning to incorporate planned burning into the fuel management regime for local reserves, as seasonally appropriate.
“This will be scaled, starting with small and simple burns to build experience and knowledge and burn complexity will increase over time.

“This approach can target areas of highest risk reduction potential according to existing management plans and strategies.”

The project also aims to increase the capacity of local Aboriginal representatives to contribute to burning activities, and in the longer term to share cultural burning practices in the region in partnership with current non-Indigenous practices.

This training is supported by the Victorian Government through the Safer Together Local Government Fuel Management grants program.