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Aboriginal Cultural Burning demonstrated in Sydney

More than 110 representatives from Aboriginal Communities, government agencies and environmental groups attended an Aboriginal Cultural Burning forum and demonstration burn in Western Sydney last week.

Coordinated by Greater Sydney Local Land Services with support from Koori Country Firesticks Aboriginal Corporation, Firesticks Initiative and Victor Steffensen of Mulong Arts, the two-day event gave participants information and insight into the practice of Aboriginal Cultural Burning and its significance to Aboriginal communities and Country.

Greater Sydney Local Aboriginal Land Services officer Den Barber said the event had attracted overwhelming interest from the Sydney community.

“It was a truly meaningful and worthwhile experience and a first for many people who attended,” he said.

“Cultural burning means different things to different people but it is basically burning practices used by Aboriginal people to enhance the health of land and its people,” Mr Barber said.

“It could include burning (or preventing burning) for the health of particular native species. It may involve patch burning to create different fire intervals across the country or it could be used to assist in treatment of weeds and for fuel and hazard reduction.”

Mr Barber said the forum was one of a series of projects funded through Greater Sydney Local Land Services to promote and preserve commitment to Aboriginal culture, communities and Country throughout the region.

“Some of these projects have included Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Projects, Cultural Education and Interpretation, Bush Tucker Gardens and Cultural Meeting and Learning spaces in schools and in Juvenile Justice Centres as well as cultural camps,” he said.

The actual cultural burn demonstration was carried out a site known near Mulgoa managed by the Cumberland Land Conservancy.

The Cultural Burn Forum initiative was made possible through funding from the NSW Government’s Catchment Action program.

ENDS

Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755