Country heals us and connects us to our ancestors, our culture and our history. But our mob cannot be healthy when Country is sick which is why it’s been so important to get community out and involved in bushfire recovery – reading and healing, connecting and sharing knowledge.
In the summer of 2019-2020, bushfires swept through much of SE Australia, including bushland and townships across Gippsland.
Approximately 13% of Gunaikurnai Country was impacted.
The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) recognised that impacts to Traditional cultural values of ecosystems and biodiversity is best assessed and managed by the Traditional Owners of Country affected by bushfire and thus the Gunaikurnai Bushfire Recovery Crew was born.
The crew works across the fire footprint, monitoring the impacts of bushfire and the recovery of species that are significant for our culture and our people.
Being able to get out on Country on a daily basis and do this kind of work in the bush is a unique opportunity to interact with and understand the landscape and the animals that live on it.
With continued support from our Elders, together with our partners at DELWP Gippsland and Parks Victoria, we continue to share knowledge and shape land management practices that will benefit Country as a whole.
Want to learn more about Reading & Healing Country? Take a listen.
Beyond The Fire
If you want to listen to Traditional Owners talking about managing Country, here’s a great place to start.
Beyond The Fire, a documentary series talking to communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires in Gippsland, aired on channel ten in early 2021.
Episode 4 features Gunaikurnai Elders and Community talking about managing fire on Country and the importance of listening to Traditional Owner knowledge to do things differently in the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires.
The series is available to watch on TenPlay, and it’s quick and easy, and well with the effort, to sign up for a free account.