Aboriginal Engagement Network meeting
Healthy Country Planning opportunities were discussed, the success of the recent Indigenous Ranger Gathering was shared and information was sought on cultural burning opportunities at the latest meeting of the board’s Aboriginal Engagement Network (AEN).
Aboriginal representatives from the board’s district groups, Indigenous Ranger Programs, Indigenous Protected Areas, National Parks, and Aboriginal-managed pastoral properties attended the fifth meeting of the Aboriginal Engagement Network on Wednesday 1 November.
It was the largest meeting of the Aboriginal Engagement Network so far with 17 attendees gathering together and sharing the work they are doing, successes and challenges relating to landscape management and caring for country.
Given the strong interest expressed to the board around Healthy Country Planning, Board General Manager Jodie Gregg-Smith announced that the board will fund $300,000 over three years to Aboriginal groups complete up to six Healthy Country Plans.
There was also discussion about hosting a yarning circle with Aboriginal groups regarding managing overabundant kangaroos in a way that aligns with traditional and cultural values.
The group supported the yarning circle idea and agreed it was needed to engage Aboriginal people in the discussion.
A short presentation was held on the Indigenous Ranger Gathering – a key deliverable for the Aboriginal Engagement Network - held in September at Roxby Downs Station with all five Indigenous Ranger Teams from the SA Arid Lands region attending.
The gathering was delivered in collaboration with Indigenous Desert Alliance, SA Arid Lands Landscape Board and Kokatha Pastoral. With funding support by National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), BHP and Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation. The group agreed it was relevant to the region and supported a future event.
There was a discussion about the need for an Aboriginal representative on the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board to provide cultural understanding across a range of issues. The board is very interested in having an Aboriginal Board Member and will continue to pursue this.
Cultural burning and the opportunity to learn more about opportunities for Ranger groups was also discussed by the group with a request for a guest speaker who works with groups on cultural burning to attend the next meeting in March.
The meeting was held at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta on Barngarla Country.
The key themes for the AEN are:
- Importance of Language
- Know what we (SA Arid Lands Landscape Board) are doing
- Shared feelings for the land and where we want to head
- Value face-to-face conversations
- Next generation is the focus
- Kids on Country, learning, experience, accredited pathways.
- Engage the next generation on Country