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Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country

There is much to celebrate in the growing capacity across the state for different points of view to come together to care for Country and work toward statewide landscape priorities. Here we tell the story in pictures of First Nations partnerships and collaborations that are helping to care for our land, water and nature.
Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
Dunnart discovery at Yellabinna Wilderness Protection Area in remote South Australia - Alinytjara Wilurara

Working alongside First Nations people to care for Country is central to every working day at the Alinytjara Wilurara Landscape Board.

Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
A young female sandhill dunnart jumps to freedom after being measured and weighed

A survey team of Alinytjara Wilurara board staff and Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation rangers has confirmed the presence of the vulnerable sandhill dunnart in the area, 150km north of Ceduna, helping researchers better understand their range and preferred habitat.

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Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
Northern and Yorke Aboriginal Engagement Committee members with representatives of the Herbig Family and Peramangk community at the Herbig Tree near Springton. Image: Matthew Turner
Herbig Tree has more than one story – Northern and Yorke

The story of German emigrant Friedrich Herbig who lived in a hollowed out river redgum in Springton is famous in the Barossa Valley. In 1855, the 27-year-old dairy worker set up his home within the 6-metre wide tree that later also housed his bride Caroline and their first two children. What is less well-known is the story of the indigenous connection to the ancient tree, which is estimated to be up to 500 years old.

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board's Aboriginal Engagement Committee (AEC) began discussions to recognise the gum's cultural significance to the area's traditional custodians, the Peramangk people.

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Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
One of the greatest successes of the translocation was bringing together Aboriginal community members and organisations, volunteers, and government agencies who all had a role in making this project possible.
Purple spotted gudgeon fly to new home in the Flinders Ranges – South Australian Arid Lands

Holding a tenuous grip on survival at only two springs in the Gammon Ranges, 600 purple spotted gudgeon were trapped and transported by helicopter to new homes in permanent springs in the central Flinders Ranges, doubling the known number of population sites of the species.

Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
The release in the Flinders Ranges was a critical step towards reducing the risk of extinction for the purple-spotted gudgeon, known as Wirta Udla Yarri to Adnyamathanha people.

The involvement of traditional owners brings historical knowledge that, when added to the scientific testing results, places the translocation in the best position for success.

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Aboriginal knowledge and values help conserve the swamps of the Fleurieu Peninsula – Hills and Fleurieu

The Fleurieu Swamps have cultural significance for the Warki, Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri people, who have worked with the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board to restore Aboriginal knowledge and values into the conservation and management of the swamps around Yundi.

The video shows how the project aims to understand and explain ecology as it was and is experienced by First Nations people from the eastern Fleurieu Peninsula and Lower Murray regions.

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Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation Ranger Richard K Lennon-Lawire (left) and EP Landscape Officer Alex Fraser (right) were involved with recent saltmarsh revegetation at Acraman Creek.
Joining forces to care for coastal saltmarsh – Eyre Peninsula

Threatened ecological communities of temperate coastal saltmarsh have been a focus area for collaborative works between the EP Landscape Board and Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation Rangers. Working together, they have undertaken revegetation, profile surveys and marine debris clean-ups on this valuable coastal ecosystem.

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Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
Members of the Aboriginal Engagement Committee, together with family of some committee members and Northern and Yorke Landscape Board staff, at the first on-Country meeting at Wallaroo. Image: Matthew Turner
Aboriginal communities convey what’s important to them and learn what’s important to the broader community – Northern and Yorke

Holding Aboriginal Engagement Committee meetings on Country is now the standard approach for the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board. This helps the committee to see the landscape through First Nations’ eyes, and share knowledge on caring for country.

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Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country
The River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation Ranger team protects environmental and cultural values across the Riverland and Mallee.
River Murray and Mallee Ranger team working to care for country – Murraylands and Riverland

The rangers are involved in a range of activities including protecting culturally significant sites and species, wetland management, revegetation, pest plant and animal control, cultural and ecological research, community education, and supporting the transfer of knowledge between Elders and young people.

This program is a partnership between the River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation, the Australian Landscape Trust and the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.

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More information

Contact your local landscape board for more information about how they are working with others to care for land, water and nature, and what you can do to help.

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