Aboriginal small grants, huge success

News article |

Small seed funding of up to $1000, through Board NRM levy funding, made available to community-led activities that impacted positively on natural resources and focused on Aboriginal cultural awareness on Eyre Peninsula, has been put to good use by local schools and community groups for a host of Connection with Country and cultural events.

Activities included a bush medicine cultural mentoring trip near Koonibba and a playgroup on Country excursion to various culturally significant sites across the far west of Eyre Peninsula.

Natural Resource Officer Tayla Westley said it was great to provide the groups and schools with an opportunity to share Aboriginal cultural awareness and information about preserving our natural resources.

“This year we’ve had ten ‘Aboriginal Small Grants’ recipients, with successfully funded projects including cultural field trips, cultural art projects, bush tucker trails and cultural plant identification. This is the fifth year Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula, has offered the small grants and the ideas community came to us with have been fantastic and have offered great insight into the wealth of First Nations’ knowledge about Caring for Country, landscapes and wildlife,” Tayla said.

Ceduna Youth Hub STAY Program Coordinator Nirelle Ware said their project facilitated Aboriginal female youth engagement and participation.

“We drove out near Koonibba and started collecting bush medicine. This was a great experience for some of our youth as many of these girls have never collected bush medicine before. Important leadership and empowerment skills were also taught during this field trip. The girls got the opportunity to plant their feet on Country and experience that connection to Country. On the way to find another spot to collect bush medicine we visited the cemetery where many of the girls’ grandmothers and other family members are buried, to show respect before they went out on Country. This was a highly significant cultural activity, especially for Aboriginal females,” Nirelle said.

Ngura Yadurirn Children and Family Centre Family Connections Coordinator Natalie Ross said all feedback about their ‘On Country Excursions’ has been really positive.

“All the families have enjoyed being out on Country exploring the natural environment while also engaging with local community members and sharing knowledge and stories about the different areas that we visited,” Natalie said.

Sites visited included Shelley Beach, Koonibba Rock-holes and Scotdesco Community. Cultural knowledge was shared about the local area through the support of local Aboriginal community members Wayne and Sue Haseldine, Karen Tschuna, Joy Reid, Bonnie Scott and Lerline Crisci.

For further information call the Ceduna Natural Resources Management Centre on (08) 8625 3144 or visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/about-us/aboriginal-engagement

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