Cultural Burn connects people
In May this year, the Kaurna Aboriginal community and the City of Adelaide collaboratively delivered the Kaurna Kardla Parranthi Cultural Burn Project in the Adelaide Park Lands.
Over 200 people observed a moving Welcoming Ceremony, which highlighted the significant Cultural, ecological and reconciliation outcomes of the event.
The burn was initiated in response to City of Adelaide’s policy objectives from its Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan to incorporate Kaurna traditional knowledge into the management of biodiversity in the city’s Park Lands.
It was conducted under the watchful eye of nationally recognised traditional fire practitioner, Victor Steffensen who came to Adelaide to work alongside the Kaurna community and Council in delivering a series of training sessions.
The Cultural burn was ignited by two young Kaurna men and the crowd watched as the fire burned in a controlled and measured way, so much so, that, the ground was cool to the touch almost as soon as the fire had gone.
Allan Sumner, who conducted the Welcome and Smoking ceremony explained how fire was a central part of life for Aboriginal people in managing and caring for Country.
“Now a lot of those old practices have vanished. And through the reclamation of our Culture and our language, we want to bring these practices back.
“To be able to have fire in the City of Adelaide, what that does for me as an Aboriginal man, is it empowers me. It gives me strength; it lets me know that we have a voice here and we’re part of some of that decision making around what happens to our country on the Adelaide Plains.”
The last word goes to Kaurna Elder Uncle Jeffrey Newchurch who has been a driving force in the partnerships between his community and the City of Adelaide.
“The burn was about bringing people together, about the important partnerships that are instrumental in delivering reconciliation and about the opportunities for our young Kaurna people to reconnect with their Culture by caring for their Country.”