Traditional burnings return after 150 years

One of the first modern-day traditional Aboriginal land burns took place near Maryborough over the weekend. The burns are being reintroduced into Victoria as part of a new partnership with Forest Fire Management Victoria and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.

Traditional Aboriginal-style burning made its historic return to the Central Goldfields last week, with a small blaze breaking a 150-year absence of the ancient practice on Dja Dja Wurrung land.

The burns are being introduced thanks to a new partnership between Forest Fire Management Victoria and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation aimed at incorporating the traditional burning practices into the planned burning program.

Forest Fire Management Murray Goldfields District manager Paul Bates said reintroducing the traditional burns in Victoria has been “a long time coming”.

“This is particularly important for the Dja Dja Wurrung people, it is starting to reconnect them with their country,” Mr Bates said.

“It’s not so much about fire in some ways, even though they have used fire for thousands of years to manage the land.”

For more on this story see Page 8 of The Advertiser, Friday, May 19.

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