Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu celebrates NAIDOC Week

News article |

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu celebrated NAIDOC Week on Peramangk Country on 7 July, bringing together staff and board members, community members, partner organisations and people from the region’s three First Nations of Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Peramangk.

The morning started with a moving Smoking Ceremony by Mark Koolmatrie, and meaningful Welcome to Country by Peramangk elder Clyde Rigney Snr. who spoke about our combined responsibility to do our part in caring for Country.

Guests then watched a special screening of the ‘Seeds for Change’ film, featuring Mark Koolmatrie, in which he speaks about what caring for Country means to Aboriginal people and why it is up to us all to be part of that journey. Mark is a Ngarrindjeri/Ramindjeri elder, and winner of the 2022 Landcare SA Indigenous Land Management Award. His description of the Ngarrindjeri ngartji model in which we each take special care of a particular species or element of the natural world was particularly inspiring.

The film was followed by a panel discussion which included Clyde, Mark, Caitlin, (Mark’s daughter), John Fargher (land steward of the Yundi Nature Conservancy) and Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu General Manager Michael Garrod. There were interesting discussions about the shared responsibilty to care for Country, the ngartji model, the need for land managers to be open to First Nations’ cultural input, and the importance of working with First Nations contractors and organisations to facilitate a cultural influence on land management.

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu works with the region’s three Nations to ensure cultural values and interests are heard, respected and maintained as they work with people to care for land, water and nature.

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu Aboriginal Partnerships Officer Bill Wilson thanked those who attended the event for taking the opportunity to connect with First Nations culture and delve deeper into what caring for Country means.

“We had a great day and thank those who were able to attend. NAIDOC Week is a meaningful time and to bring together people from our three Nations, local community members and industry groups was really special.

“We would also like to extend a special thanks also to the Adelaide Hills Wine Region and Langhorne Creek Wine Region for sponsoring the event.

“Seeds of Change is such an inspiring film about healing Country and our panelists were very open and generous with their knowledge, values and understanding of First Nations culture and opportunities.”

The morning concluded with a light lunch and informal conversations around themes covered in the film and panel discussion.

“The positive energy and discussion among the guests was really what it was all about – we have opened up some great conversations that will lead to unique opportunities and collaborative approaches when caring for Country,” said Mr Wilson.

The event was made possible by the generous support from the Adelaide Hills Wine Region and Langhorne Creek Wine Region, who see the importance of embracing cultural values in their operations, and funded by the landscape levies and Australian Government's National Landcare Program.

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu celebrates NAIDOC  Week
Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board Chair David Greenhough, Bill Wilson (HFLB), Mark Koolmatrie, Caitlin Koolmatrie, Clyde Rigney Snr., Che Biggs (HFLB)
Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu celebrates NAIDOC  Week
Mark Koolmatrie doing a Smoking Ceremony
Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu celebrates NAIDOC  Week
Guests enjoying the NAIDOC Week celebration
Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu celebrates NAIDOC  Week
The panel discussion opened up great conversation around caring for Country

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